BREAKING NEWS: Dublin: 100 Gardai Involved In Searches Of Dissident Republicans & Criminal Gangs: UPDATED

8 Apr

NEWS UPDATE:

The mother and father of Celtic star Anthony Stokes are being questioned by detectives after ammunition was uncovered at their pub in Dublin.

Celtic star’s parents held in raid Enlarge photo

The pair were among three people arrested during raids in Dublin linked to an investigation into a long-running turf war between the so-called Real IRA and drugs gangs.

John Stokes, 54, was last month ordered to remove a massive 40ft banner barring Britain’s Queen Elizabeth from his Players Lounge in Fairview, north Dublin, during her forthcoming state visit.

It is understood he was arrested at the pub after a team of Garda officers – including the elite special detective unit – smashed their way in through a side door.

A handful of bullets found in a shed at the back of the pub have been taken away for ballistic tests.

Cocaine with a street value of about 500 euro along with three stun guns were also found on the premises.

His wife – and mother of the Hoops striker – Joan Stokes, 55, was also taken into custody as well as another man, Paul Byrne, 46, who is an uncle of the footballer. All three are being detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act at Store Street, Bridewell and Whitehall Garda stations.

They are being questioned about the possession of firearms and can be held for up to three days.

More than 100 Garda officers were involved in a wave of early morning searches in north Dublin as part of an inquiry into a bloody row between dissident republicans and organised criminals.

The bitter rivals are locked in a battle for supremacy in a protection racket targeting pubs and clubs in the capital. Last July a doorman and two customers were gunned down outside the Players Lounge.

NEWS UPDATE:

THREE people — including a man and wife — were arrested yesterday as part of a major investigation into a dissident republican faction in Dublin.

Yesterday’s planned operation, involving up to 100 armed and unarmed officers from Dublin North Central division, backed up by the anti-terrorist Special Detective Unit, was linked to an investigation into a long-running turf war between the so-called Real IRA and drugs gangs.

It is believed the searches were part of an effort to put a squeeze on a Real IRA gang which is led by two brothers.

It is believed the home of the brothers was among the houses searched but nothing was found and neither was arrested.

Gardaí also searched a well-known pub where gardaí believe door security is controlled by the brothers.

They found a small amount of ammunition in a shed at the back of the pub, and this has been sent away for ballistic examination.

They also recovered a small amount of cocaine, worth €500, in an office on the premises.

A man, his wife and her brother were arrested in relation to the discovery of ammunition under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

They can be held for up to three days, on application to the courts.

Gardaí also searched an apartment on Talbot Court in the north inner city as well as properties in Cabra, Baldoyle, Coolock and Raheny in north Dublin and a house in Perrystown, south Dublin.

Gardaí have become increasingly concerned at the threat posed by the gang and at its willingness to use violence and intimidation in feuds with criminal gangs, including a crime gang formerly headed by murdered boss Eamon Dunne.

The dissidents have been using the cloak of anti-drug vigilantism and the protection of working-class communities in their efforts to take control of the lucrative security trade at pubs, through which they can deal drugs.

The brothers — who have convictions for receiving firearms training at a Real IRA training camp — have also been extorting drug gangs and demanding a cut of their profits to allow them to operate.

As reported in the Irish Examiner recently, the dissidents threatened staff at a pub in the north inner city.

The pub in question is owned by one of the Dunne gang leaders.

NEWS UPDATE:

GARDAÍ INVESTIGATING a feud between dissident republicans and organised crime gangs have raided business and residential premises and found bullets for a handgun and a small quantity of cocaine. Detectives have arrested three people.

The raids involving uniformed and armed gardaí took place across Dublin’s north inner city and the suburbs of Artane, Beaumont and Donaghmede. The operation began early yesterday morning, with searches continuing throughout the day.

A small number of 9mm rounds of ammunition and cocaine valued at about €500 were found at one of the raided properties.

Members of the 100-strong Garda search team took a number of items, including mobile phones and computers, from some of the houses raided. These will be examined to determine if they contain any data linking the owners of the items to criminality.

The searches were carried out by gardaí from Dublin’s North Central Division. These were supported by the Special Detective Unit, which investigates dissident groups. The Garda Dog Unit was also involved in yesterday’s raids.

The three people arrested, two men, aged 54 and 46 years, and a 55-year-old woman, were detained under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act. They were still being held last night at Store Street, Bridewell and Whitehall Garda stations.

One of the men is a businessman. However, neither he nor the other two arrested people were the central targets.

The men at the centre of the investigation have been involved with the Real IRA for over a decade and gardaí believe they are involved in a drugs feud with the biggest crime gang in Dublin and a number of smaller gangs.

The houses and apartments raided in the suburbs on the northside of the city are linked to members of the Real IRA, some of whom are originally from Donaghmede.

Gardaí believe these men, who are in their 30s and known to gardaí, have in recent years been vying for control of contracts to supply security on the doors of pubs and clubs in the city.

Garda sources said the Real IRA faction wants control of the doors because of the revenue associated with providing such security but also because they want to control the sale of drugs in pubs and clubs.

The Real IRA faction has also clashed with the major drug and armed robbery gang in Finglas, north Dublin, that was once led by Martin “Marlo” Hyland, who was shot dead in Finglas in December 2006. After his killing, leadership of the gang was assumed by Finglas man Eamon Dunne (34), who was himself shot dead in a pub in Cabra, north Dublin, last April.

The man regarded as the current leader of the Finglas gang survived a gun attack last year. The Real IRA faction at the centre of yesterday’s raid are the chief suspects for that attack.

A number of crime gangs that have been extorted by the Real IRA faction have formed what is effectively a coalition to resist further extortion demands.

As well as a shooting outside a pub in which a number of men were wounded and the attempt last year to shoot dead the current leader of the major Finglas gang, there have been a large number of shootings linked to the Real IRA’s feud with the Dublin crime gangs.

Last year an attempt was made to shoot a middle-aged drug dealer in a middle-class north Dublin suburb but the gunman’s weapon jammed. The Real IRA faction are the chief suspects for that botched attack.

They are also prime suspects for the shooting dead of one-time drug dealer Seán Winters (41) outside an apartment block in Portmarnock, north Dublin, last September.

Dublin criminal Daniel Gaynor (25), who was shot dead in Finglas last year, was a paid killer who carried out a number of shootings on behalf of the Real IRA faction. He was shot dead by the major Finglas drug gang as part of their feud with the faction. Gaynor was the chief suspect for the shooting dead of Colm Owens (34) in Finglas last summer. Owens was an associate of members of the Finglas drug gang. Gardaí believe Gaynor was paid by the Real IRA to shoot Owens.

————–

Gardaí investigating the activities of dissident republicans and criminal gangs are carrying out a series of searches in Dublin.

Gardaí investigating the activities of dissident republicans and criminal gangs are carrying out a series of searches in Dublin.

Over 100 gardaí from the north city with officers from the Special Detective Unit along with the Dog Unit are involved.

The searches are being carried out in Dublin’s inner city, Donaghmede and Artane.

So far a small number of 9mm rounds of ammunition have been found in a shed at the back of a pub in the city.

NEWS UPDATE:

Three men have been arrested by gardai investigating the activities of dissident republicans and criminal gangs in Dublin.

A number of searches were carried out this morning.

Over 100 gardaí from the north city with officers from the Special Detective Unit along with the Dog Unit were involved.

The searches were carried out in Dublin’s inner city, Donaghmede and Artane.

A small number of 9mm rounds of ammunition were found in a shed at the back of a pub in the city

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