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Thugs caught Two arrested and gun seized after gardai intercept weapon transfer for Drogheda gang

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Intercepted: The sawn-off shotgun and  ammunition that were seized by gardaí

Intercepted: The sawn-off shotgun and ammunition that were seized by gardaí

Owen Maguire

Owen Maguire

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Intercepted: The sawn-off shotgun and ammunition that were seized by gardaí

Two men were arrested following a dramatic chase in Dublin on Friday evening after gardaí intercepted them in the process of a weapon transfer for the Maguire crime faction in Drogheda.

The pair, aged 24 and 35 years old, with addresses in the Rathfarnham and Clondalkin areas of Dublin, were driving through the Pinewood area of Balbriggan at approximately 6pm when gardaí tried to pull them over.

Intelligence received as part of Operation Vantage, which targets criminals involved in the deadly Drogheda feud, suggested the men were in the process of a transferring the weapon.

As gardaí attempted to bring the men’s vehicle to a halt, the driver of the vehicle reversed away from officers at high speed. He and the other man then abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot.

Gardaí chased the two men and found them in shrubs near Castleland Park View, Balbriggan. The vehicle was seized and, during a technical examination, a sawn-off Beretta shotgun and six shotgun cartridges were recovered.

The seized items have been sent to the Garda Ballistics Unit for analysis.

The two men were detained at Swords and Balbriggan Garda Stations under the provisions of the Offences Against the State Act.

Sources say gardaí do not believe the men were on their way to carry out an attack but believe it more likely they were in the process of transferring the weapon for use by criminals, aligned with the Maguire faction, in the Drogheda feud.

This week, gardaí in Drogheda threw a ring of steel around the homestead of gang boss Owen Maguire after intelligence suggested the feud is far from over.

Officers are running patrols and monitoring all movements around Cement Road, where Maguire and his key associates have remained, despite being warned of numerous threats on their lives.

Maguire, left paralysed after he was shot by hitman Robbie Lawlor, is understood to be intent on winning the drug war which has been raging in the town over the past two years.

He is confined to a wheelchair since the shooting but has managed to direct his associates while he rehabilitates. It is understood his gang have drawn up a list of the remaining targets, while officers fear a ‘kill or be killed’ mentality has settled into the mindset of the warring factions.

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Owen Maguire

Owen Maguire

Owen Maguire

Gardaí raided the Maguire homestead this week as part of an investigation into money laundering, relating to the alleged transfer of a €50,000 cash payment to Limerick molls Ciara Lynch and her pal. Lynch is the girlfriend of lifer Dessie Dundon – one of the notorious brothers from Hyde Road in Limerick.

The money was nabbed by gardaí in the days after Robbie Lawlor’s murder in Belfast earlier this year. It is understood that a close associate of Maguire had transported the cash to a car park of a Portlaoise hotel and was in the process of handing it over when it was nabbed.

The money is suspected as being part payment for Lawlor’s murder in Ardoyne, where the feared gangland hitman had travelled to collect stolen cars along with pal Ger Dundon.

Dundon and Lawlor had met in prison and were trusted associates, but gardaí believe that Lawlor may have been double crossed by his ‘pal’, as the bounty on his head continued to increase in the months leading up to his death.

Both Coolock drug boss ‘Mr Big’ and Maguire wanted Lawlor dead and may have pooled resources after the thug murdered and dismembered teenager Keane Mulready Woods and left his legs in a holdall bag in the heart of Mr Big’s territory.

Mobile phones, sim cards and other items were seized during this week’s raid, while the associate who transported the cash was arrested.