However, a source said the technology used to illustrate the hierarchy of the Finglas gang would not have been possible at Santry, so instead it was decided to use a commercial print shop.

A source said it was recognised at a senior level that this course of action was a mistake that had potentially serious consequences.

While the gang did not acquire a physical copy of the document, the criminals are now aware that detectives are pursing them specifically.

This is not the first time a garda intelligence file has come into the public domain. In August 2008, the Sunday Tribune revealed that a highly sensitive intelligence document containing the names, addresses, pictures and car registrations of 20 gangland criminals was stolen from a garda car parked at a south Dublin station.

In July 2009, the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill was signed into law. It allows for gangland criminals to be tried at the Special Criminal Court in non-jury trials and makes it an offence to be a member of or control a crime gang.

No gang members have yet been charged under legislation but the DPP is considering several garda files.