Masked monsters have no regard for the innocent
The creatures who inhabit the Irish criminal underworld have again demonstrated their reckless disregard for the safety of the innocent.
The gun attack on Real IRA thug Declan Smith outside a suburban creche as parents arrived with their toddlers illustrates the depths of their depravity.
A lone gunman, armed with a sawn-off shotgun, blasted Smith in the face at close range just after as he left his son to the Little Rainbows creche in Donaghmede.
Even hardened gardai were shocked by the callous disregard the would-be assassin displayed for parents and innocent children who could have easily been caught in the gun fire.
He had obviously staked out his target and knew that Smith was dropping his child to the creche – and that youngsters would be in the line of fire.
The prime suspects for this audacious attack are members of the so-called New IRA – an amalgam of elements of the Republican movement.
These delusional thugs convince themselves that they are patriotic Irishmen; superior beings compared with the rest of their criminal colleagues.
The attempt on the life of Belfast man Smith is the latest bloodletting in an ongoing internal feud that began in 2012, following the murder of his pal Alan Ryan, pictured. The New IRA, a toxic concoction of various dissident groups, had been formed a short time before Ryan was gunned down by a drug gang.
Smith was second-in-command to Ryan and their role was to raise cash for the dissidents' "war" in Northern Ireland through organised crime.
They extorted cash from drug dealers by "licensing" their activities in the same way the Provisional IRA earned their crust back in the 1980s.
Following Ryan's murder in September 2012, the New IRA mob began investigating what happened to large wads of dirty money that was pocketed by Ryan's henchmen.
The new group even briefed some journalists of their ongoing programme to "cleanse, reorganise and rebuild" the dissident movement.
A "nutting" squad made up of Northern Republicans and Dublin Provos then called members of Ryan's inner circle to "interviews" to root out the bad apples.
That resulted in the earlier punishment shooting of Smith.
Another RIRA member, Peter Butterly, was also murdered last year as part of the same purge.
We hadn't heard from this rabble for a long time, thanks largely to the Garda Special Detective Unit, which has riddled the movement with informants.
But the shooting of Smith yesterday was a chilling message that they have not gone away.
Yesterday's outrage will make every right-thinking person in this country wonder what kind of Ireland these masked monsters are trying to achieve.