Ten firearms found in bag in Dublin were owned by Kinahan cartel, gardaí believe

Gardaí say they are determined to keep pressure on feuding gangs this year

Ten firearms found in a hold-all bag were owned by the Kinahan crime cartel and were being stashed for use in future gun attacks, gardaí believe.

However, sources said there was no imminent risk that the guns were about to be used immediately. Other firearms linked to the cartel have been loaded and in some cases were being moved for an imminent attack when gardaí moved in and seized them and arrested suspects.

Instead, gardaí believe the latest haul of firearms discovered on Friday was effectively one of many stashes of guns that the Kinahan cartel are paying criminals to hide and monitor until they are needed to be put into use.

Detectives felt compelled to move in and take the guns on Friday when their location was discovered rather than wait in the hope of making arrests when someone came to check on them.


Because there were 10 guns stuffed into a bag, sources said no chances could be taken that they may be lost of the garda and remain in criminals’ hands.

The firearms and a quantity of ammunition were seized during a search on Friday evening by officers from the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau in a rural area in north Dublin.

The discovery was made after a lengthy intelligence-led operation as part of the ongoing operation targeting feuding gangs.

Detectives believe the guns, which included hand guns and assault rifles, are owned by the Kinahan cartel, whose feud with the Hutch group has cost 18 lives in the past 3½ years and is continuing.

Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll of the Garda Special Crime Operations said gardaí were determined to keep pressure on the feuding gangs this year.

“The undertaking of the operation leading to the discovery of a significant quantity of firearms and ammunition, yesterday, reflects the fact that An Garda Síochána’s unrelenting efforts in tackling serious and organised crime will continue unabated into 2020,” he said.

The seizure is the latest in a series of significant successes by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau since its inception five years ago.

Up to the end of last year the specialist Garda unit had seized €167 million in drugs, €10 million in cash and 108 firearms along with some 3,000 rounds of ammunition from criminal gangs. The seizure of the 10 additional firearms on Friday represents its first significant find of the year.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times