Ken Foy reports on the sinister campaign of terror – including a shocking arson attack – launched by the gangsters after they were separated in prison
Dundon gangsters are suspected of being behind a number of serious threats made against three senior Irish Prison Service officials.
The threats have been described as "extremely credible" and gardai are providing 24/7 protection to some of the individuals involved.
They stem from the separation of the thugs in the prison system, after they were busted with a huge haul of contraband in Portlaoise on May 19.
The highly respected officials have been the victims of a chilling campaign of harassment, including anonymous letters with terrifying threats.
Gardai are taking the situation so seriously that they have placed a constant armed presence at the home of one official following a recent arson attack at the property.
The incident happened weeks after thugs broke a window at the house and dumped a letter into the property threatening it would be burnt down unless the Dundon mobsters were allowed to be together in prison.
Another senior Prison Service employee has also been threatened in anonymous letters and their home is also being monitored by armed gardai.
Furthermore, a third senior prison official has also received sinister threats.
Gardai have launched a major investigation into the disturbing incidents and have drawn up a special safety plan for the officials, who have all been given detailed security advice.
"This is a very, very serious situation and is something of a wake-up call for people who may have thought that the Dundon gang no longer had these capabilities," a source warned.
"This is very distressing for the officials who are under threat and, of course, for their families."
Gardai are also investigating a number of threats against several other Prison Service employees.
They believe those at the centre of the plot are killer brothers Wayne, John, and Dessie Dundon as well as close associate Nathan Killeen (27).
The gang are suspected of orchestrating their terrifying campaign from behind bars.
When contacted by the Herald, the Prison Service refused to comment.
At 1am on May 19, the four Dundon gangsters were caught with a massive haul of electronic devices, weapons and drugs inside the country's maximum-security prison.
A major garda investigation and an internal Prison Service probe are under way into how the contraband reached the Limerick gangsters.
"Questions need to be answered about how this contraband got in, when you consider that some of these individuals were the subject of screened visitations," the source said.
The contraband recovered included mobile phones, SIM cards, Stanley knife blades, Google Chromecast media-streaming devices, syringes and a haul of steroids.
After the bust the four mobsters were moved away from each other.
Wayne and Dessie Dundon were transferred to Mountjoy Prison where they were placed in the Challenging Behaviour Unit (CBU) as punishment.
The CBU is used to house troublesome inmates and separate them from the wider prison population when they become disruptive.
Gardai have had major success in dismantling the McCarthy/Dundon gang, with virtually all the main players locked up.
However, the threats against the prison officials show that they still pose a significant security threat and have "clout" on the outside, sources said.
Dessie (34) was sentenced along with four others to life in prison in December 2003 for the murder of Limerick crime boss Kieran Keane, and the attempted murder of his nephew Owen Treacy in Limerick a year earlier.
Wayne (39), of Lenihan Avenue, Prospect, Limerick, and Nathan Killeen (27), of Hyde Road, Prospect, were sentenced to life for the murder of innocent businessman Roy Collins in Limerick in 2009.
John Dundon (34) is behind bars for his involvement in the mistaken identity murder of another innocent man, talented rugby player Shane Geoghegan, in 2008.
The Dundon gang were the main protagonists in the deadly Limerick gang feud which claimed up to 20 lives after Eddie Ryan was shot dead in 2010.
It also led to hundreds of shootings, stabbings and pipe bomb attacks.