herald

Thursday 19 April 2018

Feud hit survivor arrested in North with suspected burglaries gang

PSNI detectives arrested the gang member earlier this week
PSNI detectives arrested the gang member earlier this week

A man at the centre of a west Dublin feud, who previously survived an attempt on his life, is in custody in the North after being arrested with a suspected serial burglary gang.

The 24-year-old has been involved in the escalating underworld dispute in Blanchardstown, which recently led to a high-profile gun attack.

It has now emerged that he was detained on Sunday in Belfast, along with five other men accused of being in possession of housebreaking equipment.

Hammers

The group were travelling in two cars, one of which had been stolen from Co Louth and fitted with false number plates.

Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) seized balaclavas and hammers after searching the cars and arrested the gang on suspicion of burglary.

It is understood that the Blanchardstown man remains in custody.

The gang is suspected of carrying out a number of burglaries in border counties, as well as around Dublin.

The 24-year-old criminal was left blind in one eye and on life support for a month after a serious attempt on his life two years ago.

Two brothers are suspected of carrying out the attack in which the man sustained severe knife wounds.

The siblings were subsequently charged over the 2015 serious assault, but the trial collapsed earlier this year, leading to the feud escalating.

A number of attacks have been carried out since, and last month a property linked to the 24-year-old was shot at.

Just weeks ago, he sparked a massive armed garda response after being found in possession of a suspected firearm in the presence of his child.

Garda ERU members were called in when he was seen cycling through a west Dublin housing estate with the replica handgun, which he claimed he had for his own protection.

The man was arrested and questioned by gardai for a number of hours.

He was later released without charge, and a file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) regarding the incident.

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