Monday 22 October 2018

Gardaí seize lethal weapons including hatchets and Samurai sword

Some of the knives and swords which were recovered
Some of the knives and swords which were recovered

Robin Schiller

Lethal weapons, including a Samurai sword and several hatchets, have been seized by armed gardaí targeting a drugs gang that was once linked to the deadly Limerick feud that claimed at least 13 lives.

The weapons were being used in an intimidation campaign against a number of addicts over outstanding drug debts.

The gang, which includes several family members, has also been involved in a dispute with the notorious Keane/Collopy gang.

As part of a Garda operation aimed at cracking down on the gang, officers from the city's armed support unit raided a suspected Limerick drug den earlier this month.

Officers recovered the large cache of weapons as well as a small amount of cannabis herb.

A further search of the property was carried out two days later, resulting in a further two hunting knives being found.

The seizure has been described as a "significant" local operation to prevent any bloodshed or loss of life.

However, gardaí believe the gang has access to firearms.

"This gang have been very active in the Limerick crime scene over the last two decades," a source said.

"This operation was significant to ensure that deadly weapons are taken out of the hands of individuals involved in organised criminality."

Two of the gang's main associates, who are aged in their 30s and 50s, were previously investigated in connection with a 2001 murder in Limerick.

However, neither man was ever convicted in relation to the killing.

The man in his 50s is well known to gardaí in the city and has more than 30 criminal convictions.

Despite his involvement in criminality, he was afforded Garda protection after agreeing to give evidence against his former associates. A number of senior Limerick criminals were jailed as a result of the man's testimony.

Irish Independent

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