Armed detectives have launched one of their biggest crackdowns on the INLA terrorist mob in years after a secret operation was conducted by the Special Detective Unit.
Four properties were searched in Co Louth and a suspected dissident gang boss was later stopped by armed gardai as he drove in Tyrrellspass, Co Westmeath - but no arrests were made in the operation.
A source told the Herald: "Even though there was no arrests and nothing was seized this was an important operation - gardai clearly need to know what these thugs are up to."
One of the main targets of the operation is a highly feared veteran thug from Dundalk, Co Louth, who is suspected of involvement in terrorist offences for over three decades.
In 1986 he served six years of a 10-year prison sentence for the IR£60,000 robbery of a fuel wholesalers in Dundalk. No weapons were used in that offence.
He also has convictions for burglaries and possession of petrol bombs.
Previously the dissident Republican gave a speech at a conference in 1997 about evictions of Catholics in Northern Ireland.
These were "cowardly attacks on defenceless men, woman and children", he said.
Soon afterwards he pleaded guilty to intimidating a woman, after being hired by her landlord to force her out of a Dublin flat.
In July, we revealed that paranoid former INLA boss is so concerned for his safety that he is installed a state-of-the-art CCTV system in his home because he is terrified for his safety,
Notorious thug Declan 'Whacker' Duffy fled Dublin last August and is now based at a housing estate in Armagh city where he is constantly monitored by the PSNI.
Duffy served jail time here for membership of the INLA as well as his role in the infamous Ballymount Bloodbath.
In 1999 his group took six men from a rival gang hostage and beat and tortured them in Ballymount industrial estate.