VETERAN members of the Provisional IRA have joined senior criminals in taking on two Real IRA brothers who have “upset” the criminal underworld.
The brothers, from Donaghmede, in north Dublin, have made many enemies recently by extorting money from drug dealers and muscling in on security at pub doors.
The brothers, particularly the 30-year-old sibling who is the leader of the outfit, are suspects in the murder of drug gang member Sean Winters in north county Dublin last Sunday week.
Garda sources said the pair were an “arm of the Reals in Dublin”, but were criminals first and foremost, with dubious Republican beliefs.
Security chiefs said criminal figures, who consider themselves long-time supporters of the republican cause, and older members of the PIRA have had enough of the pair.
“They are upsetting a lot of the old stock Provos and criminals who see themselves as long-time supporters of the Provos,” said one source.
“They’re saying something needs to be done about these little fuckers. There’s no doubt they are trying to get rid of them. The brothers are criminals. I doubt they could give you the basic principles of republicanism, yet operate under that banner.”
Garda sources said the brothers are “running doors” at pubs across the city and “controlling” a lot of drug runs in the city. “They’re not supplying drugs themselves. They wait until someone else imports them, then levies them with a premium, extortion really,” said the source.
The brothers, with their associates, muscled their way into the security industry and came into conflict with other criminals, including a major crime family in the north inner city.
Last July, the feud with the brothers erupted in shocking violence in a crazed gun attack at the entrance to the Players Lounge pub in Fairview, in Dublin’s north city.
The gang leader, the suspected target, had just left when the gunman ran at the pub firing two handguns. Instead, innocent doorman Wayne Barrett was shot in the head, but survived.
Garda sources said there were various theories as to the motive for the attack. “One thing it did do was bring the older PIRA lads back into the frame,” said one source.
Officers suspect the brothers were involved in the shooting of Winters and that the 30-year-old may even have carried it out.
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