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Crack ERU team raids King Ratt gang's city pub party

HEAVILY ARMED ERU members staged a weekend raid on a bar where members of the King Ratt gang were partying.

The operation took place at a pub in the James Street area of Dublin on Saturday night, as gardai try to quell tensions in the Crumlin-Drimnagh feud.

It was the second ERU operation carried out against the King Ratt gang on Saturday, after the arrest of a man during a dawn raid in Co Laois.

A key member of King Ratt's gang was arrested on Saturday morning on suspicion of viciously assaulting the brother of exiled gang boss Freddie Thompson.

The 24-year-old was arrested following a dawn raid which took place on Portarlington on Saturday morning.

He was driven to Kevin Street Garda Station in Dublin to be quizzed over an assault in the Karma Stone pub on Wexford Street which saw Freddie Thompson's brother, Ritchie, attacked and his wife stabbed.

The suspect has dozens of criminal convictions for public order, criminal damage and road traffic offences.

Another man, who has lost two family members in the feud, was also arrested for questioning in relation to the assault on Saturday.

Both men were released without charge yesterday and a file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.



Stabbed

Members of the King Ratt gang stabbed Catherine Thompson and broke the leg of her husband Richie Thompson (34), brother of gang boss Freddie Thompson, in a pub attack on Sunday, March 13.

Richie Thompson sustained a fractured leg after being kicked on the ground. His wife Catherine, who is not involved in crime, was stabbed in the arm and received over 20 stitches after a girlfriend of one the King Ratt gang members attacked her with a broken beer bottle.

They had been drinking in the Karma Stone pub when a young member of the King Ratt gang entered and noticed them socialising.

The man, a young and close associate of King Ratt, used his mobile phone to recruit a gang of "heavies" who then entered and attacked the couple, and other members of the family.





Tensions

The unprovoked attack on the extended family has created new tensions and prompted an immediate reaction from the gardai.

The vicious feud has claimed the lives of up to 16 people over the past decade and has involved some of the most depraved attacks in gangland history.

The pub attack prompted the assistant commissioner in charge of policing in Dublin, Mick Feehan, to place the ERU on patrol 24 hours a day in south Dublin.

They have been targeting the usual haunts of gang members to thwart the escalation of violence in the area.

hnews@herald.ie