A GANGLAND bloodbath is feared in Dublin after it emerged that close associates of major league criminal Stephen 'Dougie' Moran are plotting revenge for his gun murder at the weekend.
Specialist garda units have received intelligence that a crime summit involving some of Moran's closest associates is due ahead of his funeral which is expected to take place next week.
A senior source told the Herald: "Gardai are monitoring the situation very closely – Moran was a very heavy hitter with links to a large number of criminal gangs.
"In particular, information has come in that a number of crews based in Tallaght, Limerick and the UK are actively trying to find out who murdered Moran and why. They are threatening to get revenge."
Our exclusive photos show a relaxed Moran (46) posing with family members at his bulletproof home – the highly fortified property where he was shot dead last Saturday night.
Among the mobsters threatening to avenge Moran's murder are members of the McCarthy-Dundon mob who were related to the slain gangster.
In January, Moran collected gang member Ger Dundon from prison after he finished a violent disorder sentence and then provided sanctuary for the thug in his Lucan home for a number of days before Dundon finally fled to the UK.
A source said: "Reports that the Dundons were involved in Moran's murder are far off the mark – in fairness, he took care of Ger in a big way when he was let out earlier this year.
"Yeah, he did have a disagreement with them last year but that was all sorted relatively quickly – he is their flesh and blood and some of the most outspoken people threatening to avenge his murder are closely linked to that gang."
While it is possible that Moran may be buried in the UK, sources say it is far more likely that his funeral will take place in Ireland with a number of major Traveller criminals and Continuity IRA figures expected to the attend the send-off, which will be monitored by armed gardai.
Gardai still think that the most likely theory for the brutal gangland murder is that because Moran had been driving exiled crime boss John Gilligan around in his bulletproof BMW 4x4 since the hated drug dealer's release from high security Portlaoise Prison last October.
The Herald previously revealed that Moran had been negotiating with the Criminal Assets Bureau in the months before his murder after it served him with a tax demand for well over €500,000.
He was a long-time target of CAB, which has spent several years investigating his business interests including his security company and involvement in the running of a number of pubs as well as extortion rackets.
Bizarrely, not everyone who had dealings with Moran – who was suspected of being heavily involved in two murders, those of drug dealer Declan Griffin in an Inchicore pub in 2003 and Limerick bouncer Brian Fitzgerald in 2002 – believe he was all bad.
A retired garda source told The Herald that while Moran was a "criminal with links to every hood in the capital, he was also a man of his word".