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Tensions boil over with 'face-off' as 'Monkey gang' expand territory

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The monkey which was seized during a raid last year

The monkey which was seized during a raid last year

The monkey which was seized during a raid last year

Tensions were high in north Dublin this week when associates of the so-called 'Monkey Gang' expanded their territory by organising major building work beside their property on Ratoath Road, in Finglas.

The major excavation project brought them into conflict with another Traveller family who had for decades occupied the land where the building works are taking place.

Gardaí were called when members of both families had a "face-off and shouting match" at the construction site on Wednesday, but no arrests were made.

Wasteland

The incident was filmed and later posted on social media.

Sources told the Herald that the extended 'Monkey Gang' crew "need more land" to build more chalets for their expanding family.

"This site is located right beside where they live and up until a couple of weeks ago it was wasteland covered in bushes and trees," a local source said.

"But another Traveller family claim they own this land and there was an issue between the two clans when this building work began, but it seems the situation has eased now.

"It is a fairly big site and the plan for the 'Monkey Gang' seems to be to build a number of properties at the location. They are expanding their territory," the source said.

The dispute is not linked to separate garda raids which happened yesterday at nearby Avila Park, Finglas in which a different Traveller crew were being targeted by officers.

However the 'Monkey Gang' are no strangers to garda raids and their property has been raided numerous times by armed officers.

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Gardaí and emergency services at the scene of the ‘face-off’ between rivals

Gardaí and emergency services at the scene of the ‘face-off’ between rivals

Gardaí and emergency services at the scene of the ‘face-off’ between rivals

The most recent of these was on August 13 when dozens of officers, including the garda water unit, were involved in searches which failed to yield anything of major significance.

One of the raids on the Finglas gang, in April 2019, led to the seizure of a monkey in a cage.

Last November, a 46-year-old criminal considered the "number two boss" in the gang was jailed for three years for possession of more then €900,000 in illegal cash connected to the Kinahan cartel.

Gangster Bernard 'Gan' Joyce, with an address at Beauparch, Slane, Co Meath, pleaded guilty to possessing €911,600, which may have been the proceeds of criminal conduct, at Foulksmills, Co Wexford, on September 22, 2018, under the money laundering act.

Bullets

The Herald previously revealed Joyce is closely connected to the mob who gardaí targeted earlier in 2019. Officers found a huge haul of weapons, bullets and the monkey in a cage.

Two other main players in his mob were busted with €220,000 of drugs cash in Holland in 2018 as part of a major operation by heavily armed members of the Dutch police force in a suburb of Amsterdam.

The duo spent a number of months in custody in the Netherlands before eventually being bailed and returned to Ireland.

The wider gang has been the subject of a number of operations by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) including a massive raid in Co Meath in November, 2018, when officers seized €1.5m in cash as well as other items.