Monday 23 April 2018

Two men arrested over stolen car found stocked with 'assassination kit'

Casement Park, Finglas, Dublin. Picture: Google Maps
Casement Park, Finglas, Dublin. Picture: Google Maps
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

Gardaí have arrested two men after recovering an assassination kit complete with two handguns, ammunition and a can of petrol from a stolen car in north Dublin.

The first man, a petty criminal in his 30s, was arrested in Dublin city centre on Tuesday evening and brought to Finglas garda station.

A number of properties were also searched.

Last night gardaí pounced on a second man and he is now also being questioned in Finglas under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

Both men can be held for up to 72 hours.

Officers from Finglas Garda Station made the discovery on Saturday afternoon after searching a vehicle that had been reported stolen two weeks previously.

Gardai on routine patrol - supported by members of the Finglas Detective Unit - searched the vehicle and found two handguns, ammunition and a canister of petrol.

The incident occurred shortly before 3pm on Saturday in the Casement Park area of Finglas.

The items had been concealed in the blue-coloured Nissan Pulsar 15-D, which had been reported stolen from the Dublin 13 area a fortnight ago.

Sources said the discovery "bore all the hallmarks of a planned 'hit' in its advanced stages" and that gardai are satisfied they prevented a gangland shooting.

"It was a lucky but great catch by gardai. For one, it takes two weapons off the streets of Dublin, and it also prevented what was a planned gang shooting.

"The fuel canister in itself suggested that individuals were preparing to carry out a hit," a source said.

The two firearms, bullets, the car and its remaining contents were seized for technical examination. Forensic officers will attempt to recover DNA and fingerprints from the items in an effort to establish the identities of the gang.

It is not yet known if the incident is linked to the Hutch/Kinahan feud, which has so far claimed nine lives.

Gardai have foiled a number of murder attempts in the capital since February, with the most recent occurring in the north-inner city.

The Garda Crime and Security section received intelligence that a 'hit' was to be carried out on Patrick 'Paddy' Hutch Snr, the brother of 'The Monk'.

However, gardai from Store Street supported by local detective units, rushed to Patrick Hutch's Champions Avenue home before a shooting was carried out. It is believed that the quick response from gardai prevented an attack.

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