An Irish crime gang has put a bounty of €20,000 (£17,200) on the head of a Dublin journalist, police sources say, provoking fears of another assassination similar to that of Veronica Guerin.
Irish police said on Thursday they had uncovered a plan "at an advanced stage" to have three people murdered in the city, including crime reporter Mick McCaffrey, a former reporter with the Evening Herald who now works for the Sunday World.
Six people have been arrested in connection with the murder plot. Among the others targeted is a member of the Garda Síochána and a witness willing to give evidence against the gang over an assault at a Dublin hospital two years ago.
McCaffrey has taken a number of security precautions while Gardai monitor his home and a safe house where he currently lives.
Garda sources said the gang behind the threat are from west Dublin.
Detectives believe McCaffrey has been targeted because he wrote a number of articles recently about the sexual activities of the crime gang's boss, who is currently in jail. They said the gangster became "apoplectic with rage" over the reports and ordered a hit against McCaffrey. It is understood fellow inmates read the stories and started taunting him.