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We didn't carry out latest city gang killing, say CIRA

THE Continuity IRA has denied any involvement in the murder of drug dealer Sean Winters in an official statement to the Herald.

Gardai suspect two dissident republican criminals from north Dublin of having given the orders for the execution-style gangland killing, but the CIRA today stated that none of its volunteers are involved.

The men are believed to have been members of the republican organisation in the past but have been thrown out over their criminal activities in recent times.

A spokesperson claiming to represent the officer in charge of the Dublin Brigade of the Continuity IRA told the Herald: "The Dublin Brigade of the Continuity IRA categorically denies any of its members were involved in the shooting of Sean Winters in Portmarnock."







Violence

The group denied it or any of its members had any involvement in the murder and any other gangland activity.

"No member of the Dublin Brigade of the Continuity IRA has been arrested in connection with the investigation," he added.

"The Continuity IRA does not involve itself in criminal activity of any kind."

But the Herald understands that the CIRA remains on the suspects' list for the killing at this point -- in spite of any official denial.

The two brothers suspected of involvement in the Winters' killing are operating as dissident republicans to run extortion rackets on businesses, bars and individuals in Dublin in recent times.

Their outfit is heavily involved in violence surrounding the control of pub door security in Dublin city and the extortion of large amounts of money from individuals in north Dublin.

It was revealed yesterday that a member of the gang managed to obtain the licence from the Private Security Authority, despite the fact that he has a criminal conviction.

Sources have told the Herald that slain Eamonn 'The Don' Dunne (34), his close pal Brian O'Reilly (41) and other Dublin crime figures -- including the Don's mentor, Eamonn Kelly (61), and a leading west Dublin drug trafficker in his 30s -- have been targeted by the gang.

Kelly is understood to have been the latest figure singled out by the gang after he made a miraculous escape from an attempted murder attempt at his home in Killester last Saturday morning

Kelly (61) managed to chase a gunman from his home after his handgun jammed at the vital moment. It is understood both Kelly and O'Reilly were told to fork out €50,000 or be killed.

There have also been unverified reports that criminal gangs across Dublin have come together to combat the extortion and intimidation tactics of dissident republicans across Dublin city. The statement from the group, calling themselves the Criminal Action Force (CAF), claims the Real IRA had extorted €425,000 since the beginning of the year.

The group also claimed they shot a member of the extortionist gang in May and executed Daniel Gaynor on August 14 this year.

CAF added that they do not have any issue with legitimate republican organisations but will use deadly force against anyone associate with the extortionist republican gang.

"We want to state categorically that we will execute any criminals, big or small, who act as collaborators with this gang.

"We are a big group and we have lots of guns and men."

The shooting dead of Sean Winters (40) on Sunday night seems to have brought gang tensions to a head in north Dublin.

A 70-strong garda team is continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of drug dealer Sean Winters.

Gardai are investigating whether Winters was murdered because he refused to pay the gang money to sell drugs in pubs and clubs they control or if the gang had tried to extort drug money from him.







Arrested

Winters was shot twice in the head outside the Links apartments next to Portmarnock Dart Station at 10.20pm on Sunday. Within hours of the killing, 10 suspects were arrested by gardai and were placed in custody at a variety of different stations across Dublin.

Six of the suspects, including four members of the same family and a 30-year-old dissident republican who has served two jail sentences for his Real IRA activities in the past decade, were detained in a garda swoop on a house in Clarehall.

It is understood that most of the occupants of the house had been socialising in Balbriggan on Sunday evening.

The other four were arrested when armed officers intercepted a suspect car. All were subsequently released on Tuesday.


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