Gardai bust armed criminals on way to murder gang rival
Two criminals who were previously convicted of separate horrendous arson attacks were busted on their way to shoot dead a rival criminal late on Monday night.
Gardai foiled what they believe was a gangland hit when they intercepted a silver saloon car, which contained a loaded handgun, a can of petrol and a change of clothes in the vehicle.
Two men, aged 24 and 29, remained in garda custody last night after the car they were travelling in rammed a number of garda vehicles during the organised search operation.
The dramatic incident unfolded in the Corbally area of Limerick city shortly before midnight on Monday.
Gardai were continuing to question both suspects last night at Henry Street Garda Station in the city over alleged firearms offences.
A senior source told the Herald last night that the attempted murder was organised after a vicious gang fight involving rival criminals in the city in recent days.
"There is no doubt that these individuals - who are well-known to gardai - were on their way to murder someone who was involved in that fight," the source said.
"It was a major public disorder incident, which was a serious affray. What happened on Monday night was a consequence of that."
The younger of the suspects is from the Moyross area and has a number of previous convictions, including for a reckless arson attack.
The older suspect, from the same area, previously served a lengthy jail sentence more than a decade ago after he was involved in a petrol bomb attack which left two small children scarred for life.
"These are vicious criminals who have been involved in serious crime since they were teenagers. Gardai have no doubt that there was murderous intent in their actions before their arrests," a source said last night.
Gardai announced details of the operation, stating that it was targeting "organised criminal gangs on the north and southside of Limerick city".