Gardai were last night investigating whether two men they arrested after an armed robbery at a Dublin 4 hotel are responsible for a spate of robberies at upmarket pubs in south Dublin this year.
At least five pubs in south Dublin have been targeted in the past six months.
Officers finally made arrests after a violent armed robbery at The Schoolhouse Hotel, on Northumberland Road, at 3.10am yesterday.
The duo are aged 27 and 26 and from the south inner city and Drimnagh areas respectively.
They were still being held at Irishtown Garda Station last night after being arrested in Henry Street on the capital's northside at around 4am.
It is understood that a night porter was confronted at the hotel and savagely beaten before being forced into a back office. A sum of money, believed to be around €400, was taken.
Criminal damage was also caused to the hotel in the mayhem before the raiders escaped.
However, gardai picked them up less than an hour later on the northside and sources say that officers are investigating whether the duo are linked to a number of similar robberies this year.
One of the thugs was previously given a lengthy jail sentence for unlawfully seizing a car and producing an imitation firearm.
His companion is a well-known burglar, who has connections to the 'Fat Andy' Connors gang, which has been involved in a campaign of terror against rural communities for years.
Gardai are investigating whether the duo robbed the Brickyard Gastropub in Dundrum last month, where €3,000 was stolen in an armed raid.
The crime spree is being linked to the same brazen gang which robbed three south Dublin pubs in the space of just 13 days in May of this year.
At 1am on May 15, around €8,000 was stolen from the nearby Willows pub in Dundrum. That raid happened only three nights after a botched robbery at Ashtons pub, on Clonskeagh Road.
The methods used in these two raids bear striking similarities to an armed robbery at Bar 51 on Haddington Road, Ballsbridge, on May 3.
The Bar 51 raid led to the criminals escaping with €2,500 after staff members were tied up.