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Brothers turn heat on drugs traffickers with extortion threat

THE republican brothers behind Dublin's latest gangland murder are under investigation after issuing extortion threats against numerous people over the past six months.

They are now regarded as a key force in north Dublin's criminal underworld and are believed to be behind the assassination attempt made against Eamonn Dunne's close associate, Brian O'Reilly, in August.

They are now regarded as a key force in north Dublin's criminal underworld and are believed to be behind the assassination attempt made against Eamonn Dunne's close associate, Brian O'Reilly, in August.

The gang is headed by former members of the Continuity IRA, including two brothers from North Dublin.

Sources have told the Herald that O'Reilly and other Dublin crime figures, including the Don's mentor, Eamonn Kelly (61), and two leading west Dublin drug trafficker in their 30s have been targeted by the gang.

It is understood the men were told to fork out €50,000 or be killed. The brothers have an IRA background and are known to have been involved in the movement of weapons, and other subversive activities, for the past 10 years. They are also involved in the private security business and this is seen as their chief source of income.

As such they have been targeted by the Special Detective Unit. But their increased involvement in extortion has now seen them placed in the sights of the Organised Crime Unit.

Simmering

Along with focusing on rival criminals, entirely innocent businesses have also been targeted. The pair are believed to have ordered the shooting at Players' Lounge in Fairview last July, which saw three people injured. One source said: "This pair were also simmering away in the background, but since Dunne's murder they have come to the fore, demanding money and issuing threats."

The pair are not suspected of involvement in Dunne's killing, but threatened his pals weeks after The Don was shot last April. Brian O'Reilly, who was a pallbearer at The Don's funeral, was sprayed by semi-automatic fire in a pub as he socialised in August, but miraculously escaped with his life.

The 41-year-old was singled out by two gunmen who approached him at Donough's pub in Bettystown, Co Meath, and shot him four times.

He ran into the toilets but was pursued by the two gunmen, who shot him repeatedly in the upper body. It is understood the victim ignored the CIRA threats and this may be the reason why he was targeted.

Brian O'Reilly, who is well known to gardai, was told in May that a threat had been made against his life by the two CIRA brothers. Eamonn Kelly is believed to have been the latest figure singled out by the gang after he made a miraculous escape from an attempted murder attempt believed to have been carried out by the same gang.

Assassin

Kelly (61) managed to chase a gunman from his home after his handgun jammed last Saturday morning.

The assassin was lying in wait as Kelly left his Clontarf home, but a faulty firearm meant that his mission was unsuccessful.

Gardai have described the man as being 5ft 11 in height, of heavy build, and wearing navy tracksuit bottoms and a navy hooded tracksuit top.

The murder attempt took place at 10.30am on Saturday morning outside the convicted drug trafficker's home at Furry Park Road.


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