GANGSTERS linked to murdered terror boss Alan Ryan are believed to have stolen more than two dozen lethal rifles and shotguns.
Gardai fear the thugs are arming themselves for a bloody revenge on Ryan’s enemies.
The raid on a registered gun shop took place six days after Alan Ryan (below) was gunned down near his home on September 3 – and just hours before his paramilitary funeral.
Sources described the raid as a “major guns robbery” and it is feared part of the deadly arsenal is already in the capital.
“This is potentially very serious. There could well be a connection between this robbery and Ryan’s crew,” the source said.
More than two dozen high-velocity rifles and shotguns were taken during the robbery, which happened at a premises at the Coolawinnia Business Park in Ashford.
At least two raiders broke through the roof of the shop and fled the scene with the weapons arsenal and a significant amount of ammunition.
The guns are now believed to be in various locations across the capital. Two of them were found in a stolen vehicle in the Bluebell area of the South Inner City in recent days.
Sources fear that the robbery may have been ordered by those wishing to retaliate against the killers of Ryan.
"These weapons are very dangerous but it is particularly alarming given that we don't know whose hands the guns have fallen into," one source said.
One individual being investigated as part of the probe is a convicted criminal who was present at Ryan's high-profile funeral in Donaghmede nine days ago.
The man, who is in his thirties, is believed to have had "significant knowledge" of the shop in question and is suspected of passing on information to those who carried out the robbery.
He was pictured by gardai in attendance at the funeral -- which has fuelled suspicions that the raid involved those with dissident connections.
Gardai don't believe that he was at the scene during the raid and suspect that was it carried out by individuals who travelled down from Dublin.
There was nobody in the shop in question -- Wicklow Country Sports Ltd -- when it was burgled in the early hours of Saturday, September 8.
The shop owner, Dave Moore, declined to comment when contacted by the Herald.
At least two dozen rifles and shotguns are now believed to be moved to different safe houses around Dublin.
Two of the weapons were discovered after gardai stopped a male individual driving a stolen car in Bluebell last week. Officers have established that these particular weapons were part of the arsenal stolen in the Co Wicklow raid.
The man is currently being questioned in relation to the guns and stolen vehicle.
A source told the Herald: "Major efforts are being made to track down these guns but given the large amount this will be difficult.
"Some of the weapons are more advanced than others but the underlying thing is they can all kill."
Ryan (32) was gunned down in cold blood close to his home at Grange Abbey drive on September 3.
One man has been quizzed about the murder but was released without charge.
Separately, Ryan's brother Vincent Ryan (22) was one of three men charged at the weekend with having membership to the IRA.
Nathan Kinsella (33), of Matt Talbot Court in Dublin city centre, and Darragh Evans (23), of Grange Park Rise, Raheny, Dublin 5, were also charged at the Special Criminal Court with membership of the illegal organisation.
The three men were all arrested as part of a dawn raid by gardai at locations across Dublin, Meath and Kildare which involved more than 200 personnel last Friday.