A massive garda alert is in place after one of Ireland's most feared gangland criminals walked free from prison last night.
Officers have established that 16 people, including a highly respected garda and a number of innocent women, are under imminent threat from the thug, who is considered one of the country's most dangerous men.
The psychotic south inner city gangster - who cannot be named here for legal reasons - had been locked up for a number of years after committing an extremely violent offence, but is now a free man.
Senior sources say gardai have serious concerns that the evil mobster may offer himself up as a hitman-for-hire for the gangsters involved in the bloody Hutch-Kinahan feud.
He is already a suspect in a string of brutal gangland hits but has barely any previous convictions.
However, of even more concern is the fact that detectives have compiled a list of 16 people who are now under "realistic threat" after the thug walked out of jail last night.
"Yeah, he has been locked up for many years, but this guy is a psychopath. He kept to himself in jail because everyone is terrified of him," one source said.
"A total of 16 people are now under threat because this individual is now a free man.
"Even hardened criminals are sickened at his disgusting crimes, which he has got away with.
"The feeling is that his sick rage has been festering and its now just a case of how gardai can manage whatever twisted plans this individual has."
Among the 16 people on the gangster's hit list are highly respected people, former associates of his and relatives of people who gave evidence against him in the past. His targets are based across Dublin and even abroad.
Such is the level of seriousness attached to his release from prison that the garda's elite Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau has taken the lead role in managing the situation.
A serving garda and other potential victims have been warned that the gangster is now out.
The feared criminal previously had "loose links" to other criminals involved with the Kinahan cartel, but it is understood that he would "do anything for a few bob".
He was previously suspected of working as a firearms dealer for many of the country's most dangerous gangs.
Over the years, gardai have seized a large amount of weapons linked to the thug.
Aged in his late 30s, he may also be a prime target for other serious criminals as he is "hated" by many in gangland circles.
It previously emerged that he planned to murder a former pal over fears that he was talking to gardai about a high-profile court case.
However, the plan was foiled in 2012, when officers discovered a handwritten note in his cell during a raid, which outlined the evil plot that would have led to a man being murdered in Rathmines by two notorious gangsters.
Specialist gardai were forced to act quickly after the discovery of the note, which gave specific details of the sickening assassination attempt, including where and at what time to kill the man in south Dublin.
Sources said detectives informed the man of the threat against him and moved him out of his home in Rathmines and took him to a secure location for a couple of days.
The under-threat man - who has links to the legal profession - was previously friendly with the gangland figure.
The two men had been so close that they had previously been arrested together by officers investigating the Dublin criminal's suspected links to a spate of depraved crimes.
However, it is understood that the now freed gangster turned against his former friend because he wrongly believed that he was co-operating with gardai.