ONE of Ireland's most notorious gang bosses has been placed under investigation after allegedly pointing a gun at a friend of the murdered Real IRA leader Alan Ryan.
The criminal, known as "Mr Big", is said to have spotted Darragh Evans (24) sitting in his car in Dolphin's Barn last Friday.
He is alleged to have smashed the front window before brandishing the weapon at Evans, who fled the area.
Gardai went to the scene after being alerted, but when they spoke with Evans at a house in Crumlin where he has been staying he refused to provide them with a statement.
It is understood Evans has "gone to ground" since the alleged incident and is no longer living in the Crumlin area.
Officers have yet to recover the car he was in, but gardai, as well as the Organised Crime and Special Detective units, are attempting to get to the bottom of the alleged threat.
A source told the Herald: "This incident has led to an increase in tensions throughout Dublin, and it shows that the gang boss has become extremely reckless and volatile.
"His gang has suffered huge losses in terms of the seizure of large amounts of drugs from them over the past year.
"He is also the current focus of major garda attention, and the feeling is that Mr Big is cracking under the pressure."
It is not known why the criminal, who is believed to be involved in a number of bitter gang feuds in the south of the city, was in the Dolphin's Barn area on Friday, especially because it is miles away from his base on the northside of Dublin.
But a source said: "He is no stranger to the locality, and in fact he was arrested in nearby James Street in December 2012 when he was on way to whack a criminal rival."
The gang boss, who cannot be named for legal reasons because he is currently facing serious charges before the courts, is suspected of ordering the murder of RIRA chief Alan Ryan.
Since the killing, gardai have seized more than €10m worth of drugs from his gang and a number of its senior members have been charged with significant criminal offences.
Last October, Darragh Evans and Alan Ryan's brother Vincent Ryan (22) were cleared of possessing an assault rifle and a handgun by the direction of the Special Criminal Court.
The non-jury court ruled that there was an insufficient evidential basis upon which a jury, properly directed, could find Ryan and Evans guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Having been in custody since September 2012 on the firearms charges, both Ryan and Evans walked out the front door of the Criminal Courts of Justice after the decision.