Gardai foiled a planned gangland hit after recovering an assassination kit complete with two handguns, ammunition and a can of petrol from a stolen car in north Dublin.
Officers from Finglas Garda Station made the discovery on Saturday afternoon after searching a vehicle that had been reported stolen two weeks previously.
Gardai on routine patrol - supported by members of the Finglas Detective Unit - searched the vehicle and found two handguns, ammunition and a canister of petrol.
The incident occurred shortly before 3pm on Saturday in the Casement Park area of Finglas.
The items had been concealed in the blue-coloured Nissan Pulsar 15-D, which had been reported stolen from the Dublin 13 area a fortnight ago.
Last night, sources stated that the discovery "bore all the hallmarks of a planned 'hit' in its advanced stages" and that gardai are satisfied they prevented a gangland shooting.
"It was a lucky but great catch by gardai. For one, it takes two weapons off the streets of Dublin, and it also prevented what was a planned gang shooting.
"The fuel canister in itself suggested that individuals were preparing to carry out a hit," a source said.
No arrests have yet been made in relation to the seizure of the firearms, and investigations are ongoing.
The two firearms, bullets, the car and its remaining contents were seized for technical examination. Forensic officers will attempt to recover DNA and fingerprints from the items in an effort to establish the identities of the gang.
The Herald understands the car - which was stolen from Donaghmede in north Dublin - had been in the area for at least a week.
Gardai are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information, particularly those who may have seen the blue Nissan Pulsar being driven in the Finglas area or elsewhere, to contact them.
It is not yet known if the incident is linked to the Hutch/Kinahan feud, which has so far claimed nine lives.
Gardai have foiled a number of murder attempts in the capital since February, with the most recent occurring in the north-inner city.
The Garda Crime and Security section received intelligence that a 'hit' was to be carried out on Patrick 'Paddy' Hutch Snr, the brother of 'The Monk'.
However, gardai from Store Street supported by local detective units, rushed to Patrick Hutch's Champions Avenue home before a shooting was carried out. It is believed that the quick response from gardai prevented an attack.
He had been warned two weeks previously that his life was in danger after being issued with a Garda Information Message form.
Assistant Commissioner Michael O'Sullivan, who was in charge of the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, previously revealed how gardai had foiled five murders in a four month period.
There were several cases where people's lives had been saved through proactive policing operations and, in some of these, the details had not made the newspapers because of the nature of the garda operation, said Mr O'Sullivan.
The assassinations were thwarted by overt and covert operations by garda units with the aid of criminal intelligence.
Assistant Commissioner John O'Mahony, responsible for Crime and Security, also previously revealed how the determined work of gardai had foiled serious attempts to hurt or kill. In one incident, Mr O'Mahony said that the intended target "would probably never know" they were the target of a gang hit.