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Eleven arrested as gardai swoop on gangs in murder feud

GARDAI made 11 arrests today after a swoop on a gang involved in a bitter feud which has resulted in two murders.

The search operation – involving 100 officers – took place in Dublin’s north inner city and saw 18 properties raided.

Armed gardai made 11 arrests during the huge operation targeting associates of a criminal who was convicted of murder last week. Searches were also carried out in Mountjoy Prison where €5,000 cash was seized in a cell.

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

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. Those now in garda custody are aged from their 20s to their 50s.

During this morning’s searches a quantity of ammunition, controlled drugs, cash, drug distribution paraphernalia, documents associated with drug trafficking, mobile phones, computers and financial documents were seized.

Over half a dozen cells were searched in Mountjoy Prison in the early hours of this morning, yielding €5,000 in cash and mobile phones.

Cells occupied by some of Michael Taylor Jnr’s closest associates were targeted,

including those of a 22-year-old criminal who stabbed a woman in the face with a key, and an armed robber.

Sources say that gardai have received specific intelligence that Michael Taylor’s mob were planning to murder an associate of Paul Kelly in the coming days.

Mr Kelly’s 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 at a caravan park in Donabate, north Dublin, in June.

Gardai believe that Taylor Snr was killed in revenge for his son’s crime.

The feud kicked off when Kelly and Taylor Jnr had a row over a woman in late 2006.

There was a major escalation of violence after cars and motorbikes belonging to one side were vandalised, leading to Michael Taylor Jnr being stabbed.

Taylor received only minor injuries but less than a week later the suspected knifeman, Paul Kelly, was shot dead.

A month after the murder a hand grenade was thrown at the home of Taylor’s family in Rutland Court in Summerhill. Windows were smashed and the interior was damaged but no-one was injured.

Last weekend, the Herald revealed that gardai fear that the inner city battle could cost more lives.