herald

Tuesday 26 March 2019

'My bulletproof vest is better' - thugs taunt gardai in search video

Damage to the front door of a house in Corduff Place
Damage to the front door of a house in Corduff Place

Two young criminals involved in a violent west Dublin feud taunted gardai and displayed their bulletproof vests during a search operation in the capital's latest crime hotspot.

A major operation is continuing in the troubled Corduff estate in Dublin 15, with armed gardai conducting two dawn searches yesterday in their latest drive against the gangsters .

However, no arrests were made and nothing was seized.

The raids happened just hours after two men suspected of taking part in the vendetta were videoed by one of their associates displaying black and white bulletproof vests while being searched by gardai near their Corduff homes.

Raids

As a plain-clothes garda wearing a stab-proof vest searches one of the pair, the suspect says: "Jesus, lads, I think mine is better than yours" as he displays his vest.

The video of the stop-and-search operation was later posted on social media.

"This shows the brazenness of these fellas - they definitely think they are above the law and are happy to show off their bulletproof vests in front of gardai. In fact, they were taunting the officers," a source said last night.

"However, gardai will continue with their saturation policing policy in Corduff and the dawn raids, which were carried out for evidence-gathering reasons, will continue."

Last Friday, gardai announced that they had recovered weapons including five sawn-off shotguns and a crossbow following a spate of shootings in west Dublin last week.

Local gardai, backed up by armed officers and the Army, searched a number of properties in the Corduff area of Blanchardstown from Wednesday evening to Friday morning.

Ammunition, a crossbow and cannabis herb were also seized.

The operation followed four firearms incidents in Corduff last week, which saw two homes shot up after a shotgun was discharged and a group chased by an armed thug.

The drama started at around 5pm last Tuesday when a young man discharged a shot into the air in the Corduff Grove estate.

This provoked a reaction from a group of young men standing less than 30 yards away.

Gardai believe the same gang that fired the shot is suspected of being behind a similar incident in nearby Sheephill Avenue at around 8pm.

The third incident saw two shots fired into the door of a house in Corduff Avenue at around 10.15pm.

Three hours later, another house in the adjoining Corduff Place estate was targeted with a shotgun, when at least four shots were fired at the property.

Infamous

Sources said the escalating violence is part of a dispute between criminals in the area who were once associates.

A garda spokesman said the searches were part of an investigation into "street-level drug-dealing gangs".

A 36-year-old career criminal, who was formerly a member of the infamous Westies gang, has been investigated as the driving force behind the current gun mayhem.

He previously served a lengthy sentence for possessing a sawn-off shotgun, a semi-automatic handgun, bullets and cable ties.

"There are a hardcore of around a dozen fellas involved in this. They are aged 18 to 24 and have been the main dealers of crack cocaine and heroin in the Corduff area in recent times," the source added.

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