NewsCrime Desk

Gardai seize guns as Traveller conflict heats up following clips

A still from one of the chilling clips during which threats were issued
A still from one of the chilling clips during which threats were issued

Gardai desperately trying to keep a lid on a vicious north Dublin feud have seized two firearms linked to the warring factions.

Tensions remain "extremely high" in the suburb of Finglas this week after the latest round of bloodshed between two opposing Traveller clans that started after a brutal pub brawl.

In response gardai have set up a number of special operations because of fears that someone will be murdered. This has led to the recovery of a handgun and a loaded shotgun.

The handgun was discovered on waste ground in the Avila Park area, while the shotgun was found in the Dunsink Lane area.

The two locations are the strongholds of the rival participants involved in the feud.

No arrests have yet been made in relation to either seizure, but the finds are being investigated. More searches are expected to take place in the coming days.

It has emerged that detectives have been talking with members of the warring Traveller clans in recent days in an attempt to prevent further violence.

"Speaking to these individuals has worked in the past, it is hoped that it will again," a senior source said.

The situation is complicated by the fact that many of the criminals involved in the warfare and their associates are uploading videos to social media sites where they threaten and goad the other side.

Officers are monitoring these sites and sources said that gardai are "aware and investigating" a number of social media posts - including one in which masked thugs displayed pipe bombs and rifles and threatened their rivals.

Read: Video: Armed Traveller gangs issue brutal threats to each other.

Progress is also being made in the investigation into the brutal pub brawl which kicked off the new round of Traveller feuding.

Last month, the Herald revealed that in that brawl one man had his ear bitten off while another nearly lost an arm.

The 47-year-old who lost the ear and the 38-year-old with the severe injury to his arm were among a number of people hospitalised.

Two others sustained severe facial injuries after a large crowd of men from two opposing Traveller factions started fighting in a bar in Finglas.

Another man had a lucky escape when someone attempted to chop off his hand.

Before that incident, the situation between the rival clans had been relatively quiet.

It is a busy time for gardai in the area as they are also on alert over a separate dangerous dispute between two former Westies gang members in Blanchardstown that has already led to one murder this year.

Ken Foy