Irish police have arrested six people in connection with a murder plot involving an Irish police officer, a witness to one of the gang’s crimes, and, crime journalist with the Sunday World, Mick McCaffrey.  Police say the Irish crime gang had placed a bounty of $27,000 (€20,000) on the Dublin journalist’s head.

McCaffrey is currently being monitored by the police and he has taken a number of security measures including leaving his home.  Police sources told local radio station, 98FM that the plans to kill McCaffrey were in an “advanced stage”.

The detectives investigating the murder plot told The Guardian that McCaffrey had become a target of the West Dublin gang “because he wrote a number of articles recently about the sexual activities of the crime gang's boss, who is currently in jail”. The imprisoned gangster was reportedly “apoplectic with rage”.

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The gang boss, currently awaiting trial for other crimes, was one of the six arrested on Thursday.

Police and the Dublin media are taking the threat on McCaffrey’s life as extremely serious. Sources said the man who had taken up the $27,000 is a “violent psychopath”.

This man, along with four women, who include his mother, sister, and girlfriend, were arrested. Four of the initial suspects remained in custody for questioning according to the Irish Independent.

Threats and the murder of journalists in Dublin by crime gangs began back in 1996 when criminals who were loyal to Dublin drug dealer John Gilligan murdered Irish Independent crime journalist Veronica Guerin. Just five years later, Sunday World journalist Martin O'Hagan was murdered by the Loyalist Volunteer Force in front of his wife near their home in Lurgan, Northern Ireland.

Paul Williams, a former colleague of McCaffrey at the Sunday World, currently has 24-hour police protection following death threats from Dublin gangsters. In 2003, a gang with links to the Irish National Liberation Army placed a booby-trapped bomb under his car.