Gardai have struck another blow against the dangerous gang nicknamed The Family with the seizure of a machine gun in a planned raid on a west Dublin house.
Two brothers, aged 47 and 52, were in garda custody last night after their arrest on Tuesday at a property on Landen Road, Ballyfermot.
The search operation was carried out by the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB), which has conducted a number of raids against associates of The Family in recent months.
Sources told the Herald the arrested men, who do not have serious criminal convictions, have links to associates of notorious local criminal Derek 'Dee Dee' O'Driscoll.
It is understood DOCB det- ectives were acting on specific intelligence when they raided the property.
Earlier this month, officers from the same unit seized nearly €300,000 worth of drugs in a raid against the same mob.
The gun and drugs seizures are the most significant against the long-operating gang since gardai seized high-end cars worth €700,000 last June.
The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) was involved on that occasion in the dawn searches in which 10 high-end utility vehicles were seized - eight Range Rovers and two BMWs.
The leader of The Family is a 43-year-old career criminal from Clondalkin, who previously served a six-year jail sentence for possession of nearly €2m worth of heroin following a massive garda investigation.
During that case, a senior detective gave evidence that the gang he was involved with "had in the past used fatal shootings of anyone who compromised their business".
Sources said the mob's stronghold is located in the Ballyfermot, Clondalkin and Tallaght areas and its "speciality product" is heroin.
However, it has also made a serious push to move into the cocaine market in recent years.
It is understood The Family have been flooding Dublin with heroin and other drugs for nearly two decades and are linked to other gangs.
In June 2015, a 44-year-old associate of the mob from Ballyfermot was jailed for seven years in Spain after he was caught in a bizarre bust in August 2013.
Spanish police arrested him after he threw one of two suitcases containing €3.8m worth of cocaine from a Spanish hotel window in a paranoid fit.