A GANG who are attempting to fill the void left by the defunct McCarthy-Dundon outfit are attempting to kill relations of opposing criminals.
The Limerick city gang, who are run by close associates of jailed heroin dealer Fat John McCarthy, have made four attempts on the lives of the sons of murdered gang boss Kieran Keane and Owen Treacy over the last fortnight.
In the most recent attack, a gunman fired across the Shannon River in the heart of the city and tried to kill Owen Treacy junior as he drove onto Thomond Bridge on the other side.
Gardai are closely monitoring events amid heightened fears that the city's gangs are set to record the latest chapter of bloodshed in the 15-year-old feud.
The gang, based in the Moyross area of the city and comprising of associates of Fat John McCarthy and criminal brothers, Eddie and Kieran Ryan, have filled the void as the Mid-West region's main drug distributors following the successful dismantling of the McCarthy-Dundon gang and the life sentences for Wayne and John Dundon over the last 18 months.
The emerging gang - McCarthy-Ryans - are intent on wiping out relations of the Keane gang, based in the St Mary's Park area of the city. Fat John McCarthy was jailed for 14 years in 2012 for overseeing a heroin bagging operation in Limerick.
The Herald can today reveal that gardai in Limerick are investigating five separate serious incidents, including three gun attacks.
Gardai suspect the gunman was hiding near the historic Treaty Stone on the north side of the river before he opened fire across the bridge at Owen Treacy jnr. The 21-year-old, who drives a five series BMW, escaped unharmed in last Tuesday's incident.
Owen Treacy snr who gave crucial evidence against five men convicted of his uncle Kieran's murder in 2003. An innocent party's car was damaged as he tried to flee the gunman.
Earlier on the same day, an assailant opened fire on Joe Keane - Kieran Keane's son and nephew of drug dealer Christy Keane - in Nicholas Street.
Keane, a convicted killer, was accompanied by Erol Ibrahim - a well known drug dealer - but both escaped unharmed. Live ammunition was recovered from the scene.
Previously, on January 2, Owen Treacy jnr escaped when a gunman opened fire at him in the King's Island area of the city.
Two days beforehand, he received slash wounds to the face and a broken nose when he was attacked in Cruises Street. The incident, captured on CCTV, was not reported to gardai.
Before Christmas, a convicted drug dealer was arrested in a stolen 142 registered Mercedes. The car had been stolen in Dublin and gardai believe it was about to be used in a gun attack by the Moyross gang.
Limerick has enjoyed more than two years without any serious gangland incidents with nearly all members of the once- powerful McCarthy-Dundon gang all jailed.
There has not been a violent death in the city since November 2013.