Published Thursday, 27 September 2012
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Dublin ‘spy arrests’
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The men were arrested on Wednesday after Gardaí became were alerted to suspicious activity in the Harcourt Square area of the city.
A person known to police was discovered to be staying at a nearby hotel, which is close to the Dublin Garda headquarters, under a false name.
When officers searched the hotel room they found equipment believed to have been used for surveillance purposes.
Two men, aged 41 and 32, were arrested at Grafton Street as part of the investigation by the Special Detective Unit (SDU).
It is understood the spying operation had been going on for just a couple of days before gardai were tipped off.
Tom Brady, the Irish Independent's Security Editor, said there has been a rise in criminal gangs in Dublin.
"Over the last few years we've seen one particular faction of the IRA, led by a man named Alan Ryan, has been particularly active - mainly in taking on the criminal gangs and trying to take a slice of their profits. They were trying to impose what they called a tax on these criminal gangs.
"That group was supposed to have been responsible for at least two murders, if not more, in the city and then Alan Ryan himself was murdered earlier this month.
"After that we saw a paramilitary display at his funeral and there has been a subsequent Garda crackdown on the organisations since then."
John Redmond from the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors said the arrests highlighted the need for continued support for the police.
"It's all about bringing perpetrators of crime to justice, that's what we're about, that's what our sergeants and inspectors who are in charge of front line investigation teams are about and we want to make sure that they are given the resources needed to carry out those functions and to keep people safe," he said.
Harcourt Square houses several specialist units including the SDU which investigates dissident activity, National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Organised Crime Unit, Emergency Response Unit and Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation.
The men are currently being held at Irishtown Garda Station under Section 30 of the Offences against the State Act for membership of an unlawful organisation and providing assistance to an unlawful organisation.
They can be detained for up to 72 hours.
The investigation is ongoing.