herald

Sunday 26 January 2020

Gardai to test arms cache in probe into Kinahan feud

The firearms were found in Swords on Friday
The firearms were found in Swords on Friday

Ballistic examinations will be carried out on 10 firearms recovered in north Dublin to determine if they have been used in any previous shootings or murders.

The significant cache, which includes two assault rifles and eight handguns, was recovered in a holdall in Swords on Friday evening as part of a major intelligence operation.

Gardai have linked the firearms to the Kinahan cartel, which has been involved in a deadly feud with the Hutch crime gang that has resulted in up to 18 murders.

While there has been no killing linked to the dispute in 18 months, detectives believe the firearms were being stored in the remote location for pot- ential future attacks.

Threat

However, gardai do not believe there was an imminent threat to life.

The weapons are undergoing tests at garda headquarters to establish if they have been used in previous attacks.

They will also be tested for DNA in a bid to link them to any person in the hope of making arrests.

Around 1,000 rounds of ammunition were recovered, and a source said all of the weapons appeared to be in good working condition.

"The seizure shows the amount of firepower that is out there to any one gang and what gardai are up against," the source said.

"These guns weren't there for show - they were in the possession of criminal gangs to use at some stage, but thanks to this successful operation, 10 lethal weapons are off the streets."

The find was made by gardai from the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) as part of an intelligence operation.

Detectives had kept surveillance on the weapons' location, but a decision was made to recover them.

Assistant Garda Commissioner John O'Driscoll, of Special Crime Operations, said the operation highlighted the force's efforts in tackling serious crime.

"The undertaking of the operation, leading to the discovery of a significant quantity of firearms and ammunition, reflects the fact that An Garda Sioch- ana's unrelenting efforts in tackling serious and organised crime will continue unabated into 2020," Mr O'Driscoll said.

The seizure is one of the biggest in recent years.

In January 2017, a garda operation at the Greenogue Industrial Estate in west Dublin led to 16 firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition being recovered.

That investigation also targeted the Kinahan cartel and led to significant gang members receiving lengthy jail terms.

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