THE SHOOTING of three men in broad daylight at a Dublin park is a chilling warning.
Gangland attacks have become commonplace in the capital in recent years, but the gun attack in Corduff Park on Sunday was not the usual gang-on-gang violence.
The Real IRA are the chief suspects for the attempted murder of three men in the shooting.
The Garda Commissioner recently spoke of the growing threat posed by this group of fanatics. The brutal and brazen gun attack should leave none of us in any doubt about what this evil organisation is capable of.
On a peaceful, sunny Sun- day morning two gunmen approached David Morgan, Gary and Christopher Gleeson and emptied their revolvers at them at point blank range.
It is only down to pure luck that the gardai are not investigating a triple murder. They may yet be looking at a double killing - Morgan and one of the cousins remain seriously ill.
The motive for this attack was apparently linked to a botched bomb attack on a Real IRA man's car.
The victims were known for anti-social behaviour, but they were not suspected of any bomb attack.
They did not deserve to be shot like dogs, in broad daylight.
This outrageous act has thrown down the gauntlet. This organisation now poses the most serious threat to law and order in our capital and is a growing menace to peace and stability in the streets and suburbs.
In the early days, after its foundation in 1997, the Real IRA was riddled with informers and many of their planned attacks were foiled by good intelligence operations.
But that has now changed. The Real IRA has reorganised, and the effects of this reorganisation have become apparent in Dublin over the past two years.
Its ability to carry out lethal attacks has grown. It has claimed gun murders and is suspected of widespread extortion and racketeering.
After last Sunday's attempted murder, the authorities cannot afford to be in any way complacent about the organisation. And as sure as night follows day, it is only a matter of time before the forces of law and order in this jurisdiction are targeted by the Real IRA.
Remember this organisation is modelled on the Provisional IRA, one of the most ruthless killing machines in the annals of terrorism across Europe.
Many leading RIRA men were blooded in the Provisional movement and left after the Good Friday Agreement, bringing with them deadly killing experience.
The Real IRA are in the process of rebranding themselves as the true successors of the Provos.
In Dublin they are setting themselves up as defenders of local communities, claiming to tackle drug dealers and anti-social behaviour.
This reminds me of the 1980s, when Provo vigilantes carried out punishment attacks on drug dealers and others who crossed them.
As a garda who worked in deprived areas of the city at the time, I saw first hand just how the Provos engaged in protection rackets, drug dealing, extortion and racketeering, all the while claiming to be community activists.
Last Sunday's attack in Corduff Park brought me right back. The Real IRA are doing exactly what the Provos did.
In doing so they have thrown down the gauntlet to the State, and they constitute a real and imminent danger to the peace and security of this country.
We underestimate this threat at our peril.
What happened in Corduff Park is a clear warning to all law-abiding citizens, and we may not get many more of them before it's too late.
The Real IRA have moved their struggle from the streets of the North to the streets of Dublin.
We simply cannot afford to lose this war.
SO the Leader of the Free World may be met in Moneygall -- by the Leader of the Freebie World.
Disgraced politician Michael Lowry has thrown the cat among the pigeons with his plan to welcome Barack Obama to the President's ancestral home at Moneygall.
The Moriarty Tribunal said Lowry received payments and a loan guarantee of £900,000. That's not including almost £500,000 from Ben Dunne for a home extension. Having been sent back to Leinster House by people of Tipperary the former Fine Gaeler claims he has every right to greet Obama. This is just too embarrassing to contemplate.
Remember, Lowry is being investigated by the Criminal Assets Bureau. Even worse, and ever feathering his own nest, Lowry aims to speak to him about a replica White House in a tawdry development at Two-Mile-Borris, Co Tipperary, including a casino.
Sadly, the fact that Lowry received over 14,000 first preferences in the recent election says more about us than any bowl of shamrock.
I admit it. I'm a Luddite, a technophobe, and probably an old curmudgeon as well.
Having mastered the technical challenge of the mobile phone, I'm now struggling along with the internet. 'My space' is usually one without a computer.
And while it has its benefits, as we've seen in the recent Middle East unrest, I can't understand the desire of people to publish their most inane thoughts on Twitter.
Sile Seoige's recent tweet, announcing her sexual excitement at a Kylie Minogue concert, is a case in point.
Like many others I'm sure that, in the fullness of time, Sile will regret her coarse quip.
She may also learn that, in Twitter, as in many other parts of life, less is more.