Garda-killer was an active member of a group with strong links to jailed Real IRA boss
Garda-killer Adrian Crevan Mackin was an active member of a group with strong links to jailed Real IRA boss Michael McKevitt and a 60-year-old man who is before the courts on charges of directing terrorism
Crevan Mackin (24) had been a long-time target for both the gardai and the PSNI in relation to his terrorist activities.
There were suspicions that he was actively involved in sourcing bomb components for the splinter dissident republican group known as Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH). Crevan Mackin was also suspected of being involved in the trafficking of illegal steroids.
ONH has been more active in the North than the Republic in recent years and when Crevan Mackin was finally busted in January of this year, the gardai's Special Detective Unit was backed up by the PSNI.
He was charged with membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the IRA, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, on January 16.
Crevan Mackin, originally from Rostrevor, Newry, was later given bail but is suspected of continuing to be involved in IRA activity right up until the shocking events of Sunday night.
"He was a hot-headed type," a source said last night. He was always getting in rows, he surely was not the smartest fella operating in those circles."
It is understood that he had been involved in a number of assaults even with other IRA figures.
Sources said that Crevan Mackin had "huge respect" for Michael McKevitt (65), who is nearing the end of a 20-year sentence at Portlaoise Prison after being convicted of directing terrorism and being a member of an illegal organisation.
Crevan Mackin has been far more closely associated with a 60-year-old dissident leader who was busted in a special garda operation last May and charged with directing terrorism.
This Co Louth man formed the Real IRA with McKevitt in 1997 and was convicted and jailed after he was caught helping train murdered gang boss Alan Ryan in 1999.
McKevitt was one of four men found liable for the Omagh bombing in a civil action at Belfast High Court taken by relatives of the dead.
The Real IRA bomb killed 29 people and unborn twins on August 15, 1998.
In June of this year, McKevitt lost an appeal against a High Court judgment refusing him early release.