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Women in €50k cash seizure could face Lawlor murder rap

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Gangland hitman Robbie Lawlor was shot dead in Belfast

Gangland hitman Robbie Lawlor was shot dead in Belfast

Gangland hitman Robbie Lawlor was shot dead in Belfast

Gardai will consider prosecuting two women for the murder of hitman Robbie Lawlor if €50,000 in cash seized from them can be proved to have come from the gang who ordered last Saturday's shooting.

The two Limerick women, with close links to the McCarthy-Dundon gang, were released from Portlaoise Garda Station on Tuesday after they were busted with the cash on the M7 motorway as part of a major surveillance operation.

The pair, aged in their 20s and 30s, were questioned about money laundering, and a file will be prepared for the DPP.

Accessory

However, this may only be the beginning of the matter for them.

"Once all the investigations are completed in relation to this seizure and the firm garda belief that the cash was partial payment for the murder of Lawlor is backed up, gardai will definitely be examining the possibility that these women be charged with murder," a senior source said last night.

"It is also plausible that the activities these women were involved in amounts to accessory after the fact of a murder, which is a separate offence in itself."

The younger woman is well-known to officers for offences linked to intimidation, while the older woman is also known for her involvement with serious criminals.

Both women are back in Limerick as tensions simmer between members of the McCarthy-Dundon gang - who gardai believe were hired to set up the murder of Lawlor - and the Maguire mob from Drogheda, who are suspected of ordering it.

The Herald revealed yesterday that both sides were "blaming each other" for the seizure of the €50,000, with fears of a "feud within a feud" break- ing out between the two factions.

Last night, senior sources said the McCarthy-Dundon gang were claiming they were "set up" and are demanding that the Maguire crew pay them the sum that was seized.

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PSNI officers in the Strathroy Park area of Ardoyne, Belfast, where Robbie Lawlor was shot dead last weekend

PSNI officers in the Strathroy Park area of Ardoyne, Belfast, where Robbie Lawlor was shot dead last weekend

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

PSNI officers in the Strathroy Park area of Ardoyne, Belfast, where Robbie Lawlor was shot dead last weekend

"It is not known what the Maguire gang's attitude is or even if they were agreeable to giving them another €50,000," the source said.

"The question is, do they have that type of money, considering the health crisis has meant a lot of drug dealing is basically shut down."

No one is in custody in relation to Lawlor's murder after the PSNI released on bail a 36-year-old man who was arrested in Belfast on Tuesday night.

Four other males, aged 33, 30, 27 and 17, were previously questioned and released.

The 33-year-old and his teenage nephew are members of the Dundon mob who travelled to Belfast with Lawlor.