A REAL IRA crime boss in Dublin is in custody after a dawn swoop yesterday.
The 31-year-old was arrested, along with two other suspected republicans, as part of an ongoing operation by gardaí in the north inner city. They were backed up by specialist anti-terrorist police.
Gardaí said the investigation targeted “dissident and criminal groups” in Dublin.
It follows the arrest of three people, including a man and his wife, last month.
In the first swoop a quantity of ammunition and a small amount of cocaine was confiscated. The arrest is considered to be a significant development, as both the man in custody, and a brother, also a leading figure in the gang, avoided arrest in the first operation. The gang leader is considered one of the most dangerous crime bosses in Dublin.
His gang is suspected of being behind at least one murder, and several attempted murders. The outfit has been engaged in a campaign of intimidation and extortion against rival gangs and businesses.
The other two men are aged 20 and 29. All three were detained under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 and can be held for up to 24 hours, excluding rest breaks.
They are being questioned in separate garda stations, at Store Street, Bridewell and Clontarf.
Garda sources said the arrests are not connected to the impending visit of the British monarch and were the result of a long-running investigation.
The Real IRA faction has muscled its way into the gangland scene in the last two years and has been engaged in extorting drug dealers, running door security and carrying out shootings.
The faction has targeted a number of criminal gangs, including a major drug network formerly run by murdered crime boss Eamon Dunne.
They have tried to murder the new boss of that gang and recently targeted a pub owned by this man and threatened staff there.
The faction is suspected to have been involved in the murder of drug dealer Seán Winters in north Dublin last September.
The Garda operation is part of a wider crackdown on organised crime in the north inner city.
“We’re not going to give gangs time to settle and create their own fiefdoms,” said a Garda source.
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