TWO gardai have been viciously assaulted by a gang of extremely violent crystal meth users on the rampage in west Dublin.
The thugs, who have only come onto the gangland scene in the past year, are the chief suspects in a number of brutal crimes including murder, assault and armed robberies.
Sources say that the gang -- who number just seven core members, all aged in their early 20s -- have been causing "complete mayhem" in the Ballyfermot area for months.
In a disturbing new development the gang have been dealing the deadly crystal meth drug in Ballyfermot and have also been using the drug.
There are major fears that Dublin is facing a crystal meth epidemic after 2.5kg of the substance, also known as glass, with an estimated street value of €250,000 was seized at Dublin Airport last month.
The Ballyfermot mob are one of the first Irish gangs to deal in the drug which costs users around the same price as cocaine, according to sources.
Sources have revealed that the gang were "out of their heads on meth" when they savagely assaulted two young male gardai who responded to a report of a mob breaking into a van on Wednesday night.
One officer suffered a broken wrist while the other had three stitches to his face after the drug-fuelled assault in the Cole Park area of Ballyfermot.
Two suspects were arrested but later released without charge. Gardai intend to press serious charges against the thugs who have been heavily involved in a gangland crimewave all year.
A key member of the gang is the chief suspect in the stabbing of electrician Kevin Kenny (32) to death outside a Ballyfermot pub in early August.
The man, aged in his early 20s, is linked to Tallaght drug dealer Stephen O'Halloran (20) who was shot dead as part of a localised feud in January, 2009.
A close associate of the suspect was arrested by gardai investigating an armed robbery at a post office at Oulart, Co Wexford, in June in which a 66-year-old postmistress was shot in the elbow and her 31-year-old son shot in the leg.
This man was wearing a bullet-proof vest when he was arrested in a mobile home in Courtown, Co Wexford. He was later released without charge.
The gang involved in the stabbing of Kevin Kenny are also suspects in an aggravated burglary at a B&B establishment at Kennelsfort Road in Palmerstown last month, in which a shotgun was produced by the gang.
On that occasion they escaped with just €25 from a safe in the property.
The mob are also suspecting of shooting up a house in Thomond Road, Ballyfermot, in March and being involved in the armed robbery of a Londis shop last month.
They are also suspected of involvement in a brutal attack -- which can't be disclosed for legal reasons -- where a man was savagely attacked after being lured to a meeting.