SECURITY has been stepped up at the home of a detective whose life was threatened by gangland boss Brian Rattigan.
The move comes after it was confirmed that the garda was followed to a family event by associates of the killer.
The incident occurred two days after the conviction of Rattigan (28) for the murder of rival gangster Declan Gavin -- the killing which sparked the bloody Crumlin gang feud.
Round-the-clock patrols have now been put in place in the vicinity of the officer's home, and he has been given increased personal security.
Gardai are fearful that Rattigan could organise such a hit, given that he could still unleash bloodshed on the streets when he was jailed for heroin possession in 2003.
Rattigan is believed to have organised the killing of rival Paul Warren in 2004 -- in Grays Public House in Newmarket Square -- from prison using an illegally obtained mobile phone.
A source said: "This matter is being taken seriously and armed officers are in place. Any attempts at intimidation will be dealt with."
The detective was approached by Rattigan during last month's court case for the murder of Mr Gavin, where he was told he was a "dead man".
The officer in question has already been the subject of attempted intimidation when a bullet was found on his wife's car, after Rattigan had placed a €15,000 bounty on his head.
He is one of the most experienced detectives in Dublin and has investigated dozens of serious criminals in a distinguished career.
The latest security alert occurred on December 19, five days after Rattigan was threatened in open court, when the detective noticed two men in an Audi car behaving suspiciously as he left a function.
An unmarked garda car that had been accompanying the detective also noticed the Audi and pulled it over.
It has since been determined that the two men had connections to a Bray-based criminal, who is known to have close links to the Rattigan gang.
Neither of the men were arrested for lack of evidence, but gardai believe that the brazen act is an example of how Rattigan can still exert influence on the capital's streets from behind bars.
Garda had received information last month that a Wicklow-based criminal was organising surveillance on the garda.
From the beginning of the violence in Crumlin and Drimnagh, Rattigan showed his disregard for the force.
In 2005, Rattigan fired five shots at gardai near Lansdowne Valley in Drimnagh after a high-speed pursuit.
Mr Gavin was killed outside an Abrakebabra in Crumlin on August 25, 2001.
He was the first victim of Brian Rattigan and Fat Freddie Thompson feud, but more than a dozen others have died over the past eight bloody years.