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Armed officers raid city homes in bid to halt bitter feud

A MAJOR garda search operation took place in the north inner city this morning targeting a gang involved in a bitter feud which resulted in two murders.

Eighteen properties were searched by armed gardai and five arrests were made in a huge operation targeting associates of a criminal who was convicted of murder last week.

The main focus of the operation was the Summerhill area of the capital as gardai try to combat a bitter feud that has been raging for almost five years.

Over 100 gardai were involved this morning and searches were also carried out in Mountjoy Prison.

Key associates of Michael Taylor Jnr (31) who was found guilty last week of the murder of Paul Kelly (26) at an apartment block in Clontarf, Dublin, were the main targets of detectives.

Sources say that around 30 serious criminals are connected to the Taylor faction.

The murder was part of a bitter criminal feud that went on to claim the life of the killer's father Michael Taylor Snr (53) who died after being shot multiple times at a caravan park in Donabate, north Dublin, in June of this year.

The feud kicked off when both men from the north inner city had a bitter row over a woman in late 2006 and the row quickly inflamed when family members on both sides got involved.

There was a major escalation of violence after cars and motorbikes belonging to one side were damaged in a vandalism incident which directly led to Michael Taylor Jnr. being stabbed while he walked in the north inner city with a small child.

Taylor received only minor injuries after being stabbed three times but less than a week later, the suspected knifeman, Paul Kelly, was shot dead in revenge.

A month after the murder a hand grenade was thrown at the home of Kelly's family in Rutland Court in Summerhill. Windows were smashed and the interior was damaged but none of the 10 occupants was injured.

The grenade attack happened only a night after the two rival groups clashed in the Mater Hospital while one family was visiting a relative.

One woman was stabbed in the hand and received superficial injuries while a man sustained head wounds after being struck during the struggle.

Last weekend, the Herald revealed that gardai fear that the inner city battle could cost more lives despite the conclusion of a murder trial last week.

In the absence of the jury, Det Sgt John McLoughlin revealed in the Central Criminal Court that he believed the feud which led to the murders of Paul Kelly and Michael Taylor Senior was still active.