Gang boss burns out garda sergeant's car while he plays football
Gardai have launched a major investigation after a car belonging to a popular sergeant was burnt-out in a grudge attack linked to gangland thugs.
The highly-respected officer's Toyota Corolla was burnt-out as he played a football game in Ashford, Co Wicklow, over the bank holiday weekend.
Sources said everything points to the shadowy crimelord nicknamed 'The Businessman' being behind the sinister attack after a recent garda raid on a pub linked to the middle-aged thug.
The major crimelord is the chief suspect for organising the attack after he "became irritated" with increasing pressure from detectives in recent weeks.
The officer's car was targeted on Monday evening in an attack that was planned.
The gangster is considered a major player nationwide. He leads a gang active mainly in the east of the country but with links to drugs mobs all over the country, including in the capital.
His gang have been burning cars belonging to rivals for years, and this is now considered part of their modus operandi, especially after a henchman of the gang boss burnt-out two vehicles linked to an innocent woman.
The Wicklow-based criminal has a huge property portfolio and links to the Continuity IRA.
He is suspected of having an "active involvement" in the gangland gun murder of Philip 'Philly' O'Toole (32), who was shot dead in January last year.
He is also suspected of ordering the theft of 29 firearms in Wicklow in September 2012, and his crime enterprise stretches from Dun Laoghaire in the north to Gorey, Co Wexford, in the south.
The gang have been under significant pressure from gardai for the past six months, which culminated in a raid on one of the gangster's businesses at the weekend.
As a direct consequence of this, the mobster ordered his associates to follow one of the officers involved in the probe into his activities, sources told the Herald.
Gang members subsequently discovered he plays football every Monday evening.
Their boss then ordered them to torch the officer's car while he was playing football.
While no one was injured in the incident, sources said that the action is an open "declaration of war" against gardai by the gang.
But sources say gardai now intend to clamp down even heavier on the gang following this latest attempt at intimidation.