Garda intelligence has stated that there is an “imminent” danger of a revenge attack on members of the Kinahan crime cartel, the Irish Examiner understands.
Garda bosses have assembled a 24-hour security operation in the Crumlin and Drimnagh area of Dublin after headquarters raised the threat level.
Roaming high-visibility and armed checkpoints, backed up by air support, have been put in place since Monday of last week.
Garda sources said this was an “intelligence-led” decision and followed an assessment by the force’s Security and Intelligence Section, based in Garda HQ.
Six people have been murdered in the Kinahan-Hutch feud since last September, five of them at the suspected hands of the Kinahan cartel.
In retaliation for the murder by the cartel of Gary Hutch in Spain last September, the Hutch gang shot dead Kinahan lieutenant David Byrne, from Crumlin, at the Regency Hotel in north Dublin on February 5.
Since then, the Kinahan syndicate has murdered Eddie Hutch, Noel Duggan, innocent bystander Martin O’Rourke, and Michael Barr.
Gardaí yesterday arrested two men in relation to the murder of Eddie Hutch. One suspect in his 30s was picked up in the Dublin area and arrested under section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007, which allows for up to seven days’ detention. He was taken to Mountjoy Garda station. A second man in his late 20s was arrested yesterday evening and was detained at the Bridewell Garda Station.
Investigating gardaí are continuing to appeal for anyone with information to contact the incident room at Mountjoy Garda Station on 01-666 8600, the Garda Confidential Line 1 800 666 111 or any Garda Station.
Community groups in the north inner city, where three of the murders have taken place, have held a meeting to vent their fears of further violence in their area.
Garda sources believe that while the Kinahan cartel intend to continue their killing spree, the Hutch gang is planning a major retaliation.
“The fear is the Hutch’s are planning a spectacular,” said a garda source.
It is unclear what impact the murder of Barr, a dissident republican, will have on the feud and whether it will introduce a third warring faction in the New IRA.
Gardaí are watching closely, with some sources indicating a reluctance of the grouping to get involved.
Mr Barr had been a major figure in the dissident outfit, which includes the Real IRA, but fell out with the Northern leadership who were unhappy its weapons were provided to the Hutch gang for the Regency attack.
The Kinahan cartel also suspected Mr Barr provided logistical support to one of the killers, a dissident from Co Tyrone, and provided a safe house for him.
It is thought that apart from the Kinahan family members, all the associates of the cartel are still in the south Dublin suburbs.
The associates, mainly centred around families, many of them inter-related, continue to live and travel openly, posing additional security difficulties for gardaí.
Gardaí have drawn up 24-hour rosters of checkpoints and patrols, conducted under normal rosters and, to a large extent, through overtime.
Many of the checkpoints focus near where known members of the Kinahan cartel live.
Gardaí estimated that in the region of 40 members and associates live in the area, many of them clustered around five or so families.
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