hermes Nine held in massive shakedown

Nine held in massive shakedown of gangs

Armed officers smashed in the homes of suspected dealers in dozens of raids.

The main target was a large north inner city drugs gang involved in the murderous feud with jailed paedophile Christy Griffin’s gang.

Four men have been murdered over the course of the feud which erupted seven years ago after Griff hermes in was accused and subsequently convicted of raping his partner’s child.

Nine men were in custody early today after searches were conducted by 300 gardai in 33 separate locations across the country. More arrests were expected throughout the day.

The precision crackdown was conducted this morning in a three hour simultaneous mission which began at 4am.

Small quantities of cocaine and a number of mobile phones have been seized during the raids which are still ongoing.

The huge operation was co ordinated from Store Street garda station to counter a major drug trafficking operating from Dublin’s north inner city. The Emergency Response Unit backed up by uniformed gardai, the dog unit and the garda helicopter conducted a number of searches in the areaa.

Searches were also carried out by gardai in Cork, Wexford, Kildare and Cavan.

The Criminal Assets Bureau, the Emergency Response Unit, the Organised Crime Unit, the Air Support Unit, the Dog Unit and hermes the Publ hermes ic Order unit are actively supporting the operation.

Gardai arrested nine men over the course of the operation. Seven men are being held at stations in north Dublin, the other two suspects are being questioned at Enniscorthy and Togher Garda Station in Cork.

At 5am, teams of gardai backed up by the ERU, a helicopter, and the dog unit swooped on a number of homes in the Oriel Street and Portland Row areas of the north inner city.

“This morning’s raid was a significant crackdown on criminal activity in Dublin’s north inner city and was part of an intelligence led operation,” a garda spokesperson told the Herald.

Entrance roads to Lower Oriel Street and and several blocks of flats behind Portland Row on the North Circular Road were blocked by gardai as the raids got under way under cover of darkness.

The centre of attention was two properties close together on Oriel Street, where over a dozen gardai patrolled the street while members of the technical bureau examined houses and cars on the street.

At least four members of hermes the ERU, each armed with a machine gun and a handgun as well as specialised equipment, guarded their colleagues as they conducted their searches. In the darkness the garda chopper illuminated the scene with a spotlight.

After the searches were completed 11 gardai walked out of one of the houses with evidence bags and garda clipboards containing preprinted lists.

A middle aged man wearing a white T shirt then appeared at the door smoking a cigarette, while a young woman stood behind him.

Meanwhile in the many flats off the North Circular Road searches were also carried out.

Seven of the men arrested today were held under the new anti gang legislation brought in last year.

The gang targeted in this morning’s raids are believed to be behind the shooting of an assocaite of Christy Griffin three weeks ago.

The man was shot four in the hand and once in the leg after he was chased through his home.

The victim, who is in his early 30s and a father of one,had left his home earlier but returned at around 8.10am on October 18 in Swords.

As he was walking into the house, he was rushed by a gunman who fired six shots from a handgun. One of the shots hit the victim in the hand and he was struck by a ricochet bullet in the leg.

Despite his injuries, the victim ran into his back garden, jumped a fence and escaped through neighbours’ gardens as the gunman fled the scene in a car.

The victim’s partner, who was in the house at the time of the shooting, was not injured.

Four people have been killed in the Sheriff Street feud, which has its roots in a series of rapes by paedophile gang boss Christy Griffin of his partner’s young daughter.

One of the four victims in the feud was killed this year.

When the abuse allegation emerged seven years ago, Griffin’s armed robbery and drug dealing gang fell apart.

In October 2005 shots were fired into Griffin’s home in Ridgewood Green, Swords where he had moved from Cannon Lillis Avenue, Dublin wounding him in the arm.