TWO Dublin IRA men are linked to a mob behind a plot to kill a young Irishman who is serving in the British Army.
The young soldier is being forced to spend Christmas in the UK, away from his family, after gardai became aware of a planned murder bid by members of the Continuity IRA based in west Dublin and Limerick.
Notorious terror chief Dermot Gannon is one of the men closely associated with those behind the sinister plot.
He is serving a jail sentence after being caught in a car with a Webley revolver last January.
In the same car was Robert Nolan, who was jailed for three and a half years by the Special Criminal Court last week for IRA membership.
Gannon (48) from Wellview Crescent, Mulhuddart, was previously found guilty of membership of an unlawful organisation, the Continuity IRA, on October 17, 1999, for which he received a four-year sentence. Last week, the Special Criminal Court heard Nolan was a passenger in a green Ford Mondeo car that was stopped by a marked armed response garda patrol unit in the Ballinacurra Weston area of Limerick city on the afternoon of January 11.
Gardai who searched the vehicle uncovered a Webley revolver in a brown paper bag which had been concealed under the front passenger seat where Nolan was sitting.
Robert Nolan (45) is the brother of Frank Nolan (50), who had a miracle escape after being shot in the chest by a would-be assassin on a push bike on Oranmore Road in Ballyfermot in September last year.
In early January, Nolan gave a graveside speech at a Republican commemoration in Limerick which was attended by Gannon and other dissident Republicans who are suspected of being involved in the plot to murder the soldier.
The Continuity IRA is a much smaller organisation than the Real IRA, whose Dublin boss Alan Ryan was shot dead in September. Last week in a statement, the Continuity IRA warned: "There will be no CIRA ceasefire and military operations against the forces of the British presence will be intensified. The CIRA give warning that there is no safe haven for those who administer and support the British presence in the occupied Six Counties."
The Continuity IRA are suspected of a gun murder in Dublin last year, which cannot be told here for legal reasons.
The Limerick soldier, who is in his 20s, is understood to have been targeted when CIRA thugs became aware of his Christmas plans after befriending him on Facebook.
When gardai became aware of the plot, they contacted the soldier and his family and it was decided to postpone the trip. Gardai had also learnt of a previous threat in August.
The murder plot was conceived by a local faction of the Continuity IRA with the co-operation of other terrorists based in west Dublin.
In an edition of Saoirse Nua published in June 2011, the Limerick Brigade of CIRA claimed they had identified the serving British soldier in the city.
The dissidents added that the man's life was under threat.