Heavily armed detectives raided a south Dublin property this week as part of a probe into links between a well-known "businessman" and a notorious criminal who was a close pal of slain Real IRA boss Alan Ryan.
The target of the operation by the Special Detective Unit was Nathan Kinsella (39), who specialist gardai believe has forged a close relationship with the businessman, himself a target for officers for years.
No arrests were made in the dawn raid in Blackrock but Kinsella was present when officers stormed the property.
A large amount of documents, as well as electronic equipment, were seized as part of the search, which will now be forensically examined by gardai.
"This is part of a lengthy ongoing investigation and detailed surveillance on individuals has played a major role in this," a source said last night.
What is clear is that Kinsella was not abiding by the government-imposed travel restrictions on travelling further than two kilometres outside your home as he lives in Athy, Co Kildare, which is an 85km drive from his home address.
While not arrested in the raid, sources say that officers are in the "evidence-gathering stage" in relation to Kinsella's association with the so-called businessman, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
The Dublin-based businessman has been heavily involved with dissident Republicans and burglary gangs for almost two decades. He was not in the Blackrock property when it was raided on Wednesday.
The businessman is a major target for garda units such as the SDU, the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) and the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB).
He is long suspected of paying "protection money" to dissident Republicans, including Kinsella and his cronies.
Kinsella was a close associate of Alan Ryan who was murdered in September 2012, by the "Mr Big" drugs mob.
However, he was kicked out of the dissident Republican mob in the aftermath of Ryan's murder because of his criminal activities.
Kinsella was kneecapped in a punishment shooting in Ballyfermot in November 2012, as part of an internal IRA purge that happened in the months after Ryan was shot dead.
He was accused of taking money belonging to the organisation which had been extorted from drug dealers and was shot twice in the legs.
He spent a number of days in hospital but did not make a formal complaint to gardai about the shooting after his release.
Kinsella was charged with membership of an illegal organisation as part of the garda Operation Ambience crackdown which happened after Alan Ryan's paramilitary funeral in September 2012.
He was jailed for two years for this offence in April, 2014, but he served his time in the Midlands Prison rather than in high-security Portlaoise Prison after he was shunned by dissident Republican inmates who refused to let them on their landing - the notorious E Wing.
In November 2014, Kinsella got further jail time for aiding criminals.
He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to driving two other men in a car on Brewery Road, Stillorgan on December 9, 2010, while knowing they possessed stolen property.
Judge Patricia Ryan sentenced Kinsella to four months in prison on that charge.
The court heard that Kinsella has 14 previous convictions, mostly for road traffic offences.
Imelda Kelly BL, defending, said Kinsella has achieved "enhanced prisoner" status while in custody and that he renounced any contact with subversives after pleading guilty to membership of an illegal organisation in the Special Criminal Court.