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Nidge takes on IRA gangsters as Love/Hate imitates real life

A PARAMILITARY display and bodies buried in the Dublin mountains. It is a case of art imitating life for the new series of Love/Hate.

The eagerly anticipated return of the RTE gangland series opens with a bang and it soon dawns on Nidge and his cohorts that there are larger forces at work.

King Nidge is still on top in the capital but even he knows that his crew's fire power are no match for a bigger gang -- the Real IRA.

The audience is shown a quasi-military style march and display with Irish tricolours hoisted and firearms on view.

The imagery is identical to the paramilitary funeral of gang boss Alan Ryan (32) who was shot dead in cold blood last month.

The Dublin RIRA leader's coffin was draped in the Irish flag and guns were fired in a salute as his coffin left his home in Donaghmede.

Experts say that Love/Hate is particularly close to the bone in terms of what is happening in Ireland's gangland.

Pipe bombs, cars blown up, early morning drug smuggling through remote harbours, infighting and abductions -- this is real-life gangland.

The acclaimed writers hit a nerve when they earlier depicted the killing of Aidan Gillen's gang-leader character John Boy in a suburban Dublin pub.

The murder was eerily similar to the assassination of Eamon 'The Don' Dunne (34) who was gunned down in a Dublin pub in April 2010.

In this series, an online teaser shows that Nidge's faithful lieutenant Darren, played by Robert Sheehan, believes that the gang can go up against the paramilitaries.

Although he tells Nidge that "The 'Ra" have kneecapped gang member Aido, he believes that they can "do something".

"Have it out with them, hit them first," he suggests.

But Nidge is more aware of what they are dealing with.

"This is heavy duty we're talking about here," he said. "It is like taking on an army."

The gang are constantly kept on their toes and now have to wear bullet-proof vests.

The cocaine-fuelled parties with half-dressed girls continue, but it is clear that Nidge's sense of fear and suspicion is growing by the day.