They were stopped in a van last summer

Two men described in court as “foot soldiers” for a criminal gang have been jailed for their roles in a planned hit in Dublin.

Stephen Dunne from Clondalkin and Gary Gleeson from Ballyfermot were arrested after being secretly recorded by Gardaí investigating the Kinahan crime gang.

On the back of a tip-off that a man was going to be murdered last summer, Gardaí began following the movements of Stephen Dunne and Gary Gleeson.

A white van made to look like an electrician’s van was identified as part of the surveillance operation and a recording device was put inside.

On their way to carry out the hit on August 7th last, Gleeson could be heard telling Dunne to aim for the head.

A loaded gun was found beside the handbrake when Gardaí intercepted the van on the Naas Road.

Both men pleaded guilty to firearms offences and their lawyers pleaded for leniency at their sentence hearing.

Gleeson’s barrister described his 34-year-old client as a foot soldier and not the brains behind the operation.

Counsel for Dunne, who’s 39, said his client was put in harm’s way by people who considered him to be “utterly disposable”.

After taking a week to consider matters, the three judges of the non-jury court today handed down twelve year sentences for both but suspended the final year of Gleeson’s and the final two of Dunne’s.