A combination of Garda seizures and restrictions on movement as a result of the coronavirus have led to a virtual lull in the tit-for-tat retaliatory attacks in the deadly Drogheda feud.
More than 40 seizures of drugs, mainly cocaine, in the Garda's Louth division in the past couple of months have dealt a heavy financial blow to the feuding gangs.
The confiscated hauls are worth an average of €3,000 to €5,000 each at street prices and the gangs are left footing the bill after paying their suppliers overseas.
Their financial woes were worsened by the seizure of a substantial four-figure sum of cash following a Garda operation last month.
The gangsters are also experiencing difficulties in collecting outstanding debts from their customers as the general restrictions on public movement have left them more open to surveillance by Garda units.
"The cash collectors no longer have the cover provided by busy roads," an investigating officer said last night.
"We know who most of the main collectors are and the vehicles they use and it has become easier to track their movements when they try to become mobile.
"They have been exploiting youngsters to make many of the collections but when the debtors can't or won't pay, the gang members have to come out themselves to put the pressure on," he added.
This shortage of cash is also hampering their ability to procure new weapons that cannot be linked forensically to other shootings, to carry out hits on their rivals. The thugs are continuing to maintain limited targeting of their rivals, as was evidenced last week by an attempt to attack an associate of feud murder victim Keane Mulready-Woods at his home.
The associate, who is in his mid-20s, is alleged to owe a five-figure drugs debt, and is also a target because of his links to the teenager, who was abducted and murdered last January.
His body was dismembered in Drogheda and his remains then found at a series of locations in Dublin.
He became the latest victim of the feud, which has so far claimed three lives and involves criminals with connections in counties Louth, Meath and Dublin.
Gardaí suspected the killers intended to dump his remains at the homes of the main players of the gang with which he was involved.
They believe that plan was aborted after unconnected Garda activity in the Coolock area "spooked" the thugs, who hurriedly disposed of the remains in their possession.
Many of the main players, particularly those either involved in the planning or execution of previous attacks, are now said to be "offside".
Garda intelligence suggests some of the key gangsters are outside the country after becoming trapped by the restrictions on travel imposed by the authorities following the outbreak of the virus in Europe. Some are understood to be lying low in Spain after flying there to make contact with their overseas suppliers and arrange a new consignment of drugs for distribution here.
"It was relatively easy in the past for these guys to leave their homes on this side of the Border, travel to Northern Ireland and catch a flight to mainland Europe," an investigator said.
"But now they are grounded and, in the case of some of them, it looks like they are going to be stuck overseas for a while," he said.
The whereabouts of one of the key players, who is regarded as a "gun for hire", is not known although there are several theories about his current location.
Although the supply of drugs is never too far away from the origins of any gangland feud, the origins of this dispute are largely personal and it has escalated since a shooting left one of the gang leaders badly injured.
With most of his main rivals currently "missing", this gang leader has become pre-occupied in recent weeks with internal strife within his group that has even caused problems within his extended family.