THE gang that ordered and carried out the murder of Real IRA terror chief Alan Ryan is imploding over fears of a garda informer in their rank.
The "tightly-knit and highly organised" crew have been left reeling after a number of major garda successes against the mob.
The north Dublin gang – who are linked to seven murders, a spate of tiger kidnappings and importing tens of millions of euro worth of drugs – have been thrown into a state of chaos after a lengthy surveillance operation by the garda organised crime unit.
The Herald has learned that the gang's leader and one of his most trusted associates have had a "major falling out" in recent days as concern grows about the gang boss's "paranoid state of mind."
"He is getting more paranoid by the day. Everyone in the organisation is feeling major stress because of the heat that gardai are putting on them.
"Their movements are being very closely monitored," a source explained.
Gardai are now monitoring the dispute between the feared gang boss and his former mate who was previously involved in a bitter row at a Dublin car wash with a notorious Coolock-based Traveller criminal last March.
The gang murdered Alan Ryan last September, following a bitter feud with his Real IRA mob, which had been going on for around a year before Ryan was shot dead in Clongriffin.
The backdrop to the tension within the mob is the staggering amount of drugs seized from it this year.
Last month, detectives seized €250,000 worth of cocaine after they stopped and searched a car in Ballymun.
The bust happened only weeks after around €1m worth of cannabis was seized at a warehouse in Blanchardstown. The Blanchardstown operation was led by the Garda National Drugs Unit.
The cannabis herb and resin had been imported from Spain, disguised as a consignment of olive oil.
The Herald has previously revealed that many of the main players in the north Dublin gang are based in Spain's Costa del Crime where they have teamed-up with other Irish gangs to import vast quantities of drugs here.
In May, €1.7m worth of drugs was seized at a house in Donabate, Co Dublin, after an operation by the Store Street Garda Station drugs unit – the haul was made up of €1m worth of ecstasy and €700,000 worth of cannabis herb. A month earlier, almost €3m worth of heroin and a machine gun was seized at a vacant house at Garryross in Virginia, Co Cavan.
A source added: "No wonder there is such paranoia within their ranks – gardai have had some great success and all the specialist units continue to lean on them.
"This includes the Criminal Assets Bureau who are compiling lists of their assets and studying their financial transactions."