Gardai handcuff the Hutch gunman at Connolly Station
The 23-year-old criminal remained in garda custody last night-time.
He was joined by a 20-year-old woman who was allegedly seen handing him the gun at Connolly Post.
Our exclusive photos show the gangster on the ground just seconds after clandestine officers dragged him off the Belfast-bound train at 3.20pm on Wednesday.
Another vivid image captures officers examining the 9mm handgun.
Gardai believe the hit man may have been taking the gun to the North to assassinate a Kinahan cartel mobster.
Witnesses praised the professionalism of the gardai involved in the operation, which was organised by the Psychedelics and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB).
A 24-year-old Belfast student who lived the train at the same time as the gangster was given a rare insight into the ruses used by the unit.
He told the Herald the man «appeared extremely nervous» as he transported a plastic bag and a black holdall.
As he walked through the carriage, he was forced to choke up momentarily by a man and a woman who were engaged in a loud argument over capacity arrangements.
A few seconds later he continued to his seat and placed the bag and holdall on the up above rack.
At that point, the arguing couple revealed themselves as confidential gardai, produced firearms and placed garda caps on their managing directors.
Two more officers approached the man from the opposite end of the carriage.
At that mark, he was surrounded by four armed guards pointing handguns at him.
«The officers were crying ‘armed gardai, put your hands up’,» said the student.
«The fella not at all said a word and complied with all their directions.
«The gardai swiftly handcuffed him to the table he was sitting at and removed his bags from the train.
«Then they dragged him off the following and put him on the ground face down.
«I think around five gardai stayed with him while another three examined the holdall and other bag. They nailed the gun out of the holdall. It was clear they knew exactly what they were doing and what they were looking for.
«The arrested fella stayed unagitated the whole time.»
A short time later, he was taken to nearby Hold Street Garda Station where he remained last night.
The household was delayed for 14 minutes. Before it left the station, gardai re-entered the bearing to reassure passengers.
A woman who was on the train with her 14-year-old daughter estimated she would «never have guessed» that the two people who were showing were gardai.
It is believed the loaded gun was being delivered to a hideout in the North where at toy half a dozen Hutch gang associates are in hiding.
These file cartel targets James ‘Mago’ Gately, Keith Murtagh and a puerile criminal who is suspected of involvement in the shooting at the boxing weigh-in at the Regency Motor hotel in Drumcondra last year.
The suspected Regency gunman is closely related to the 20-year-old woman who was arrested at Dublin Airport shortly after the Connolly bust.
The spear arrested with the firearm in Wednesday’s operation is both an associate of the Hutch circle and a suspected drug dealer. He lives in Summerhill in the capital’s north inner borough.
He is a close pal of slain Gary Hutch’s cousin Eddie Staunton, who survived a killing attempt in the north inner city last March.