Armed Gardai launch security operation against crime gangs expected at biker event in Co Dublin

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Tensions have been high in recent months between the groups

Armed Gardai have launched a security operation in Blanchardstown as tensions are high between crime gangs who are expected at a biker event.

Sources have said that tensions are high in recent months between a group with links to the Bandidos international crime gang and certain members of another group at a European convention in Dublin today.

It comes just weeks after armed garda raids on a club's HQ in Dublin and also searches in Limerick.

In February, heavily armed gardai struck a motorcycle group meeting house in the Crumlin where they recovered several weapons - on that occasion the Gardai were targeting the group because of links to the Kinahan and Byrne Organised Crime Group.

A source said: "The Dublin raid was targeting a group with members who are linked to the Byrne Organised Crime Group.

Gardai carrying out the raid in Crumlin

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"The Bryne OCG are linked to the Kinahan gang and riders from that club provided an escort to Regency murder victim David Byrne who was a senior player in the Kinahan OCG."

The Dublin raid was launched by members of the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, as well as local gardai backed up by the Emergency Response Unit.

They searched the club house and they located knives and other items which they have seized.

An alleged Bandidos gang member's home in Limerick was also raided with a source saying there's been a serious problem in the city with biker groups turning to crime.

A source said: "There has been a serious problem in Limerick with motorcycle groups turning to crime. The murder of Andrew "Odd" O'Donoghue originated over a dispute within the bikers who wanted to align with the Bandidos."

Gardai carrying out the raid in Crumlin

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Gardai searched five houses and one "professional premises"

They seized three high end cars and a Harley Davidson Motorcycle along with mobile phones, computers, documentation. They also found a drug dealing tick list and weighing scales.

The Bandidos have been declared an organised criminal gang in Australia and the US - sources said they were trying to break into Ireland.

The group in the United States are an organised crime group who hit the headlines when a shoot out in Texas killed nine people and injured 18.

They are thought to have links to organised crime cartels in South America and had attempted to take over motorcycle clubs in Ireland in 2014 and 2015.

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Niall O'Connor
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