Gardaí believe a stolen car found with firearms, ammunition and a fuel canister inside was about to be used in a shooting before being discovered by officers on patrol.
The sinister find was made in Finglas, Co Dublin, Saturday afternoon and sources said it bore all the hallmarks of a vehicle that had been readied to be driven to a gangland murder.
“You would have to say it looked like it was going to be burned out at some point,” said one source.
“A lot of the murders we’ve seen in Dublin involve cars being taken so they be used to get these guys into and away from a scene.”
The same source those intended to use the vehicle would have had a second car waiting close to the scene of their planned shooting and would have switched into it while burning the first car.
In a number of killings in Dublin in recent years the firearms used were new and untraceable and were left in a burning car to destroy any forensic evidence.
“If they take the gun way to keep it or get rid of it later, there’s always the chance you’ll be caught with it and that would link you to the shooting you’ve just done,” another source said.
In a number of the gun murders carried out as part of the Kinahan-Hutch feud, firearms have been found discarded at the crime scene or in getaway cars.
However, sources stressed it was not known what criminals were linked to the car and guns found on Saturday.
The vehicle, two firearms and ammunition found are undergoing forensic examination in the hope that DNA or finger print evidence may link the find to suspects.
The find was made by uniformed gardaí on patrol in the area and the vehicle was a blue Nissan Pulsar stolen in Dublin 13 two weeks ago.
The vehicle is a 152 CE registration and gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have seen it in the Finglas area or elsewhere to contact them in confidence.
The discovery comes after a significant fall in gun violence in Finglas in recent years despite one fatal shooting occurring there earlier this year.
Vinnie Ryan (25), who was the brother of murdered Real IRA chief Alan Ryan, died in hospital after he was ambushed and shot 13 times in the head and upper body as he sat in a car outside his partner's home on McKee Road on February 29th in Dublin.
However, since the murder of Finglas gang leader Eamon Dunne in April, 2010, the suburb in north Dublin has seen an ending to the gun feuding that had claimed more than 20 lives in the previous decade.