By Cormac Byrne
Wednesday December 01 2010
A REAL IRA unit blamed for a ganglad double murder in Dublin worked as minders for INLA boss Declan 'Whacker' Duffy, it's been revealed.
The extortion gang started out as heavies for the INLA and are now demanding a 20pc drugs tax from crime gangs.
The RIRA unit, regarded as Dublin's most dangerous dissident grouping, is blamed for the murder of low-level drug dealer Sean Winters (40) and Daniel Gaynor (25) in the summer. The group claimed the deaths in a statement issued recently.
According to republican sources the leaders of the Real IRA cell, who are two brothers living in the Donaghmede area of north Dublin, acted as Duffy's bodyguards over a decade ago.
"These guys used to be lowly bodyguards and now they are running the show," a source told the Herald. The INLA only have a couple of units and they are completely intimidated by the Reals at the moment.
"The INLA are the butt of jokes now in Dublin amongst republicans."
Duffy, now an ex-INLA man, became a notorious figure in Dublin's gangland over his involvement in the Ballymount Bloodbath and his feud with the Freddie Thompson crime gang in the south inner city.
Much of the violence concerned Duffy's involvement in extortion rackets.
His life had been threatened on a number of occasions by Thompson gang members before he was arrested in 2008 and charged with membership of the INLA.
Duffy has since received a separate 24-year sentence in Britain in July for the 1992 Derby killing of Sergeant Michael Newman but is likely to benefit from the early release scheme that was set up under the Good Friday Agreement.
The former terrorist leader became a figure of derision within INLA divisions after he publicly disassociated himself with the organisation in 2009.
Duffy was beaten in prison a year ago after his statement and a prison officer was also injured as he tried to come to Duffy's aid.
He is likely to be released in just two years' time.
The INLA have ceased to be a major force in the capital since Duffy's imprisonment.
- Cormac Byrne