Six members of the Kinahan cartel have been transferred out of Mountjoy Prison after they were identified by jail bosses as instigating major tensions in the facility this week.
The gangsters "bullied and intimidated" other inmates to "go on strike" from their jobs in the prison kitchen or cleaning duties and even organised large-scale protests in the exercise yard which involved prisoners refusing to come back in.
The tense situation led to prison officers being "suited up in riot gear" on three separate occasions, but they did not have to be deployed because the prisoners came in from the yard after a number of warnings.
Two of the inmates who were transferred out of the jail yesterday are notorious Finglas brothers Mark and Scott Capper.
Scott (30), who is a key member of the Kinahan-aligned 'Mr Flashy' gang, is currently serving three-and-a-half years in jail for taking part in two savage assaults in Dublin city centre pubs.
On Thursday, Mark Capper (31) was sentenced to seven and a half years in jail after he admitted helping the Kinahan crime group with a plan to kill Patrick 'Patsy' Hutch, the brother of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch, but he pulled out three days before the attempted murder.
Two other notorious Finglas brothers who are aligned to the cartel, as well as a major criminal who is considered the right-hand man of Ballyfermot crime lord Derek 'Dee Dee' O'Driscoll, have also been transferred out of Mountjoy Prison.
Around 10 other inmates have been moved to a different area of Mountjoy Prison and served with 'P19' disciplinary forms for refusing to obey staff, meaning that they will lose some of their jail privileges.
The clampdown by jail bosses on the gangsters began in earnest on Thursday when two of the "ringleaders" were transferred to the high-security Portlaoise Prison. Yesterday, four others aligned to the cartel were moved to Cork Prison and another facility in Dublin - two to each jail.
Last night, a jail source said the atmosphere in Mountjoy remains "very tense" this weekend, but it is hoped the transfer of the six gangsters may improve the situation.
"This, essentially, is all about the lack of drugs in the jail because visitors have not been allowed visit prisoners because of the coronavirus pandemic," a jail insider explained last night.
"The Kinahan cartel was controlling drugs in Mountjoy but there are little if no drugs in the jail currently. They decided to kick-off and they did in a very serious way this week, which caused huge concern.
"This was a coup against the prison authorities and it needed to be put down.
"Intelligence obtained by prison officers indicated that many prisoners were being bullied and intimidated to take part in these work strikes and stand-offs. So a robust plan was put in place."