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Armed gardai swoop in hunt for suspect in horror attack

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A team of gardaí carry out the raid

A team of gardaí carry out the raid

A team of gardaí carry out the raid

A manhunt was continuing last night for a dangerous 29-year-old suspect wanted for questioning over a savage stabbing on the capital's southside.

Our photos show the officers taking part in a massive raid on a property in the leafy Shankill area last week, where more than 20 gardaí, including at least a dozen members of the Armed Support Unit (ASU), tried to find the suspect.

Raids

The thug, who is extremely well known to gardaí, was not in the property at the time and searches for him continued, including targeted raids at properties on Friday night.

Further searches over the weekend failed to find him as a major investigation by Dundrum officers continues into last Wednesday's stab attack at a Sandyford service station.

"This was a particularly brutal violent disorder incident which occurred shortly before 7.30pm last Wednesday in broad daylight," a senior source told the Herald.

"Gardaí suspect that the 29-year-old and two other males, who were all masked, attacked a man in his 20s and stabbed him multiple times," the source added.

The victim is a member of the Traveller community and lives close to the Maxol Station on the Sandyford Road where he was targeted last week.

After the incident, emergency services, including a number of garda units, rushed to the scene.

The victim was brought to St Vincent's Hospital where he received extensive treatment "for a number of different wounds including a serious slash to the neck", according to sources.

However, none of his injuries are life-threatening.

The masked three-man gang fled the scene before they could be arrested but were quickly identified by gardaí.

"A decision was made to bring the Armed Support Unit in for the raid on a property in Shankill connected with the 29-year-old the following morning because there were concerns there would be knives or other weapons in the house," a senior source said.

"There were also concerns that other members of the gang may have been in the property but when it was raided.

"However, there were no suspects in the house and no weapons. A full search of the house took place in any case, before gardaí moved on," the source added.

After the major show of force in Thursday's raid, it is understood the latest attempts to snare the suspects have been more "discreet and low-key" but still involved armed officers.

Violent

However, there has been no sign of the stab gang yet, though gardaí are confident of tracking them down.

"Another reason local garda management decided to call in armed units for the Shankill operation last Thursday is that the 29-year-old target has been causing huge trouble in the locality in recent months," a local source explained.

"He is the chief suspect for smashing up a house in Shankill earlier this month and has been involved in a number of similar incidents.

"Despite being extremely violent, he is no criminal mastermind and an older male associate of his is suspected of having to pay off people in the locality that he beats up.

"He is suspected of a number of brutal assaults and many local people were delighted that gardaí arrived with such a show of force against him last week," the source added.

His most serious conviction was when he was given a three-year suspended jail sentence for an unprovoked and "brutal assault" on a young man in a southside nightclub more than a decade ago.

Sources said neither he nor his associates is suspected of any involvement in two recent brutal assaults, including a stabbing which happened in the nearby O' Rourke Park area of Sallynoggin in the early hours of Sunday morning .

That attack has left a man in his 20s fighting for life.