Belfast Telegraph

Real IRA expanding its crime empire in Republic

Dissident republican group the Real IRA is expanding its criminal activities in the Republic, responsible for murders, attempted murders and pipe bomb attacks, according to senior garda sources.

The group is believed to be extorting millions of euros from targeting drug dealers — as well as business people — in Dublin and Cork.

In the past two weeks the ‘republican' gang has been behind the shooting and injuring of a north Dublin man at a public house in Bettystown, Co Louth, and a grenade attack on the home of head shop owner Jim Bellamy in Killiney, Co Dublin.

Two of Mr Bellamy's shops had previously been fire-bombed by the group.

They were also responsible for the shooting of three men at the Players Lounge in Fairview, Dublin, on Sunday July 25, in which the doorman Wayne Barrett (31) was left with critical head injuries and two other customers were seriously hurt.

Gardai are investigating the possibility that the same gang, based in north Dublin, was responsible for murdering one of Dublin's leading gangland figures, Eamon Dunne, at the Fassaugh House pub in Cabra last April.

The gang is also believed to be behind the widespread use of pipe bombs. Last year the Army Ordnance Corps dealt with 61 live bombs and 140 hoax bombs. So far this year they have dealt with 40 live bombs, mostly in Dublin.

The dissidents are also believed to be selling some of these bombs to gangs including criminal elements within the Travelling community.

Gardai say the Dublin Real IRA is also heavily involved in the pub and club bouncer business in the Republic in which owners are forced to accept their members as doormen. These doormen then allow drug dealers in who pay the organisation so that they can operate in the premises.

The ‘republican' extortion business has been growing for years with alleged dissidents taking over rackets formerly run by the Provisional IRA in Dublin and elsewhere.

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