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Ratt blitz ordered after jury list found

GARDAI have launched a huge probe into how the girlfriend of Brian Rattigan had a list of names and addresses of a jury.

The revelation has led to fresh calls for tough laws, that were introduced to counteract gangland activity last July, to be enacted. Not a single prosecution has taken place since Justice Minister Dermot Ahern signed off on the legislation that allows for non-jury trials in cases involving major criminals.

Detectives arrested King Ratt's girlfriend Natasha McEnroe (26) and a man at an apartment in Adamstown, west Dublin, last Wednesday in relation to the murder of 'Champagne' John Carroll who was shot at Grumpy Jacks pub in February 2009.

She was later released without charge but, as exclusively revealed by the Herald on Saturday, officers were shocked to discover files containing details of jurors from the Declan Gavin murder trial. During the arrest and search operation they found a file with a list of names, addresses and phone numbers of jurors who deliberated on Rattigan's trial in February last year. The trial ended with a hung jury, but Rattigan (29) was convicted of the 2001 murder after a retrial in November.

Officers also recovered a garda file with the names and addresses of suspected members of Rattigan's rival gang in the Crumlin/Drimnagh feud.

The file on associates of 'Fat' Freddie Thompson had been stolen from a garda car in 2008.

Justice Minister Dermot Ahern is under pressure to show that legislation introduced last July is working. Mr Ahern has ordered Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy to head up an investigation into how jury details were obtained by a gang.

"The minister is very, very concerned with this situation," said a spokesperson. He added that the case proved the need for last summer's laws, adding: "Indications that a jury can be intimidated cannot be tolerated and that is the reason for the non-jury Special Criminal Court." Fine Gael's Charlie Flanagan described the development as "very sinister".

"Steps should be taken to protect jurors above all, and this certainly justifies the use of non-jury special criminal court in gangland cases," he said.