Gardaí believe plans for a gangland murder were thwarted on Tuesday when detectives discovered of a loaded semi-automatic Makarov handgun in a car.
Two men were arrested after the gun was found in Co Westmeath but the incident is being linked to a feud in west Dublin.
The operation that resulted in the seizure of the firearm was carried out by detectives from Blanchardstown Garda station in Dublin.
Two men from Dublin, who are well known to each other, were shot earlier this year in separate attacks but survived. The older of the two is linked to members of the Kinahan cartel but gardaí believe the botched attempt on his life was part of a localised feud in west Dublin. They believe his younger associate was shot by the same criminal gang as part of the same feud.
The semi-automatic Makarov handgun recovered in a car the two suspects were travelling in is from Russia and has been issued to the police and military there.
“Detective Gardaí in Blanchardstown investigating organised crime activity in that area conducted a policing operation on Tuesday, 3rd December, which led to the arrest of two males from the Dublin area,” the Garda said in a statement.
"They were arrested with the assistance of the Emergency Response Unit in Rathowen, Co Westmeath. A fully loaded semi-automatic Makarov handgun was recovered in the vehicle.
"The two males are detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act 1939 as amended at Blanchardstown and Finglas Garda Stations. Investigations are ongoing."