Dissident rockets seized on way to NI

Published Friday, 08 February 2013
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Gardaí have arrested three Real IRA suspects after seizing a haul of rocket launchers and explosives destined to be used in Northern Ireland.

Dissident rockets seized on way to NI
Gardaí are still investigating the items seized during the operation. (© Getty)

Two brothers and an associate were detained on the N24 at Cahir in Co Tipperary on Thursday night, during a major police operation involving elite Garda officers.

Three hand-held rocket launchers - capable of blowing apart armoured personnel carriers and tanks - were taken away for further examinations. Two cars were also seized.

It is believed the swoop followed a surveillance operation targeting dissidents, and it is thought the weapons were en route to Northern Ireland.

A senior Garda officer said: "This is a significant capture.

"The intention was that they would go up north and would be passed on for further use."

The three men, who are aged in their 30s and are from Co Limerick, are being questioned at Clonmel and Cahir garda stations on suspicion of dissident republican activity, under section 30 of the Offences against the State Act 1939.

They are suspected of being involved in the Real IRA.

"We have full time surveillance operations going on all the time," added a Garda. "There came a point when we moved in and this one came to fruition."

Officers from the elite special detective unit, emergency response unit and other national and local Garda branches were involved in the operation in Tipperary.

The recovered explosives will be subjected to technical and ballistic examinations.

Local MLA Tom Elliott said the weapons could have been used to cause "death and destruction" had they crossed the border.

"Thanks to last night's Garda operation these dangerous weapons will not now find their way into the hands of terrorists and will not be used to cause death and destruction in Northern Ireland," the UUP justice spokesperson explained.

"These violent criminal gangs are a danger to society on both sides of the border and if the authorities in Northern Ireland are to successfully combat the threat posed by these criminal gangs, then it is essential that they continue to enjoy a close working relationship with the Garda and I would like to pay tribute to them for their vigilance and timely actions in disrupting this particular operation and seizing this cache of deadly weapons."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
21 Comments
Linda in NI wrote (651 days ago):
well done to the garda just think of the hundreds of families, regardless of religion, who wish the garda would have done the same in years gone past to save their loved ones from the republican anarchists that now sit in our government. Republican demand for public enquiries have wasted millions of taxpayers money yet the calls for justice from their victims, especially in border areas, go ignored.
David Scobie in Omagh wrote (652 days ago):
another example of peace loving republicans right there! PIRA, RIRA, CIRA, IRA, i cant believe its not butter IRA and caffeen free diet cherry IRA so many different names but still the same IRA. isnt it time they realised no one wants them here in Northern Ireland or the ROI?
realistic in planet earth wrote (652 days ago):
excellent result! these tubes would be better trying to LISTEN- we don't want or need anymore blood shed! Thankyou Garda.
Tyrone in Tyrone wrote (653 days ago):
Well done to the Garda!! Northern Ireland has came so far and left the troubles behind, its very worrying and sad that there are minority groups out there on both sides of the community who want to go back to that. I wish those people would look at the bigger picture and see what they are doing to this country and everyone else living here.
Tommy Atkins in London, England wrote (653 days ago):
Great to see cooperation from the ROI police in stopping what would have ammounted to mass murder. These fools have nothing to contribute to N Ireland other than the old ways of grief and misery through violence and mayhem The quicker they are dealt with the better for everyone
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