Saturday February 14 2009
Two of the arrested men are from Crumlin, and are regarded as close associates of city criminal Freddie Thompson, who is involved in a gangland feud with another gang based in the south city.
The other three men arrested in the incident on Wednesday night are known to gardai and are from Cabra on the city's northside.
All five men were released from custody last night with files being prepared for the Director of Public prosecutions.
Officers believe that the planned attack may be related to a smaller local feud
that members of Thompson's gang are involved in.
The arrests were carried out in a planned operation by members of the Organised Crime Unit, who were watching the men after they noticed them acting suspiciously in cars.
The men were initially detained for questioning at Kilmainham, Kevin Street, Terenure and Crumlin stations.
Garda technical teams were examining the Glock handgun and the car found at Mount Shannon Road.
"This crowd were minutes away from a gangland hit when we intercepted them," a source told the Herald.
"The two Crumlin men are well known to us for their involvement with the Thompson gang, and as soon as we saw them we pulled them over.
"At the same time another one of our units spotted the other three men in a car and immediately pulled them over.
"We then established that the men were en route to Mount Shannon Road, and we discovered the suspicious vehicle parked there the following morning.
"The car was plated up and a Glock handgun with a full 13 round magazine was hidden in the vehicle.
"The scenes of the arrests, at Pimlico and Mount Brown, in front of St James' Hospital, were very close to where the car was at Mount Shannon. They were minutes away.
"The Crumlin pair are known to us but it was unusual to see the three others from the Northside involved.
"We don't have a definite target for the hit but as well as the major feud, these men are involved in a number of smaller disagreements with other criminals around the south inner city.
"From the location of the car we believe that's where the hit was due to take place," the source added.
Garda investigations into the incident are ongoing, and more arrests may occur.