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Saturday 18 November 2017

UK on alert after 'granny gun' gang feud

Jim Cusack

Jim Cusack

British police have been alerted by gardai about the possible danger of a west Dublin gangland feud overspilling into their jurisdiction.

The warning comes after last week's discovery of two handguns in the carry-on luggage of a 68-year-old grandmother at Dublin airport.

Gardai believe the woman was not aware the guns had been placed in her hand luggage and she has had no previous involvement in criminality.

It has come to light that a gun attack was carried out on the woman's home on September 14, 2004, by a Finglas gang once led by the local drug dealer and gangster, Declan Curran, who died in 2004 as a result of injuries he received in a shooting incident two months earlier.

The guns -- one of which was loaded -- and seven rounds of loose ammunition are believed to have been destined for a man in his 20s with involvement in a feud between drug-dealing gangs in Finglas.

The woman, who told gardai she had no idea the guns were in her luggage, was released on Thursday after being questioned.

The grandmother had been arrested when trying to board a Ryanair flight to Birmingham on Tuesday evening. The guns were discovered by security staff when her bag passed through the X-ray machine.

According to one Garda source, it seems unlikely she was aware of the guns in her bag.

The guns are being examined at the Garda Technical Bureau to see if they have been used in the past.

A considerable number of drug dealers are believed to have left Dublin as well as Limerick and Cork in recent years due to fears of being murdered -- with some of them being followed and killed.

In February 2009, the dismembered body of Keith Ennis, 29, from Clondalkin, who fled Dublin in December 2008, was found in a canal outside Amsterdam.

A month earlier, Richard Keogh, 30, from Cabra, was shot dead in Benalmadena, Spain. He, too, had fled Dublin in fear of his life -- as have at least a dozen young men with connections to the Crumlin-Drimnagh gang feud, running for more than a decade.

Paddy Doyle, a close associate of gang leader Freddie Thompson, was shot dead in Estepona in Spain in February 2008. Gardai believe he fell foul of his associates.

In 2004, the bodies of two of the most notorious drug dealers and gang leaders in recent times, Shane Coates and Stephen Sugg -- who set up the 'Westies' gang in Finglas -- were found in Alicante, Spain, some months after they had been assassinated.

And Cork drug dealer, Michael Ahern, 38, was murdered in the Algarve in Portugal in 2005.

Sunday Independent

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