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RIRA stalked gun shop boss ahead of raid

THE gun shop owner whose collection of firearms is thought to have been stolen by the Real IRA was stalked for days leading up to the raid.

Gardai believe the criminals responsible had a local connection and were fully briefed on the movements of shop owner, Dave Moore.

His premises was also thought to have been closely watched before the theft of nearly 30 firearms from Wicklow Country Sports Ltd in the early hours of September 8.

But officers are said to be baffled about the whereabouts of the shotguns and 2.2 rifles.

Sources confirmed that the chief line of inquiry is that the arsenal of weapons was stolen by associates of slain RIRA boss Alan Ryan.

Individuals well known to the former gang leader are suspected of spending several days planning the raid.

It's believed that the shop may have been closely monitored by individuals known to gardai and that the movements of Mr Moore were passed on to those who carried out the raid.

A source explained: "Ryan's crew, or people working on his behalf, would have been fully informed as to how this shop operated -- from opening hours to the owner's movements."


The robbery is understood to have caused Mr Moore and his family great distress.

When contacted by the Herald, he declined to comment other than to say that the situation is "very sensitive".

Officers have also not ruled out the possibility that the raid was carried out by a travelling gang who intend to supply the weapons to Dublin criminals.

As revealed exclusively by the Herald, up to five raiders broke through the roof of the shop, before fleeing the scene in what is believed to be the direction of the capital.

Gardai kept a lid on the raid for several days.

A source explained: "It would be not have been good for gardai -- particularly given the serious tensions in the city -- to have had this raid made public right away. These weapons are dangerous and it's essential they are recovered."

Two of the guns were recovered when a stolen vehicle was stopped in the Bluebell area of the South Inner City.

A 26-year-old man was questioned and a file is being prepared for the DPP.