Gardai on high alert after feared gang hitman returns to Dublin
GARDAI are on alert after a hitman for one of the country's most dangerous gangs returned to Ireland after spending time on the Costa del Sol.
Sources said the volatile gunman is staying in a compound linked to the leader of the mob he works for.
The gang's leader is currently on remand in prison but is due to apply for bail in the coming weeks.
The hitman's return has led to an increase in tensions as two brothers of 35-year-old Benny Whitehouse, who was murdered outside a Dublin school almost two years ago, are facing renewed death threats from the mob.
"Things are very tense, and the fact that this individual is back in the country will certainly not calm things," a source said.
Both men were previously warned about an active threat against their lives, and it is understood they were given new security advice by detectives based in Drogheda at the start of this month.
The gang, who are believed to have killed Whitehouse, are also the chief suspects in the disappearance and murders of Tallaght man Willie Maughan (34) and his partner Anna Varslavane (21), who were last seen in the Gormanston area of Co Meath on the afternoon of April 14 last year.
The leader of the gang has been locked up since just after Christmas, shortly before he was hit with a significant bill by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).
However, it is feared he may be back on the streets within weeks and will be ready to orchestrate a renewed campaign of terror.
His right-hand man is also out of jail after spending a number of months on remand.
"This is a gang whose power base is north Co Dublin and significant chunks of Co Louth and Co Meath," a source said.