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Tuesday 11 December 2018

More arrests expected as gardai foil 'elaborate' murder plot

Members of the Garda Armed Support Unit on Bride Street, Dublin today.
Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Members of the Garda Armed Support Unit on Bride Street, Dublin today. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Assistant Garda Commissioner John O'Driscoll and Detective Supt. Brian Woods. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Armed Gardai - stock picture
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

Senior detectives have stated they will make more arrests as part of an "elaborate" conspiracy to murder a drug dealer with links to the Hutch gang.

Last night armed gardai swooped on a four man hit team as they were close to carrying out a suspected murder in the north-inner city.

The four arrested men, aged between 23 and 38, are continuing to be questioned by specialist detectives in Dublin garda stations.

As part of follow up operations 10 properties have been searched and seven vehicles seized, which will be thoroughly examined as part of the garda probe.

Gardaí are also expected to contact the DPP over the next 24 hours to see if charges can be brought against the four detained men.

Assistant Garda Commissioner John O'Driscoll, who oversees Special Crime Operations (SCO), said that detectives are expecting to make more arrests in relation to last night's foiled hit.

"There are people, whose doors we will be knocking at, who we will be arresting as part of this.

"As a result of our interventions there are more charges for conspiracy to commit murder than at any other time in the past," the experienced detective said.

Asst Commissioner O'Driscoll went on to describe yesterday's attempted hit as "one of the most elaborate" that gardai have had to engage in.

"Clearly we intervened in a situation where, we alleged, that a persons life was in immediate danger. There is evidence that a number of people were in close proximity to a loaded weapon bearing a silencer and ammunition.

"We will allege that this was an elaborate enterprise involving getaway cars. There were plans to destroy these getaway cars and for those involved to immediately flee from the scene without getting caught," Mr O'Driscoll said.

Gardaí from the elite Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) seized a handgun and a silencer when they stopped a vehicle at Philipsburgh Avenue in north Dublin at around 8pm last night and the suspects are now being held for conspiracy to murder.

It is understood that specialist bugging equipment was used by detectives to uncover the murder plot.

Among the four criminals in garda custody last night is a 38-year-old south inner city criminal who was only freed from jail in July.

This man is already a suspect in a string of gangland murders but has barely any previous convictions and previously was cleared of charges in a gruesome murder case.

A 23-year-old cousin of this criminal was also arrested in last night’s detailed operation. This young Ballyfermot man previously survived an assassination attempt when he was shot in the face almost four years ago.

Also arrested as part of the Garda operation was a long-term member of the Kinahan cartel aged in his mid 30s and another south inner city criminal aged in his mid 30s.

The Assistant Garda Commissioner also appealed for anyone who may have information in relation to ongoing criminal activity to cooperate with garda, who will deal with their information "in the strictest of confidence".

Since the Regency Hotel murder of David Byrne in February 2016, gardai have saved in excess of 40 lives as part of interventions and foiled hits.

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