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Gardai warn of dissidents’ intention to commit atrocity

Published 14/01/2009

The Republic’s most senior police man has warned of the threat from dissident republicans to Northern Ireland.

Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy said that dissidents involved in violent attacks must be tackled in order to stop a major terrorist atrocity in Northern Ireland.

“Everybody knows their intentions are still to carry out acts of violence in Northern Ireland, particularly against the PSNI,” he told the Irish Times. “Over the past 12 to 18 months a number of events have taken place that are a cause of concern for both the PSNI and An Garda Síochána.

“While their capability is still somewhat questionable, and I wouldn't like to underestimate it, their intentions, it would seem to me, are still quite focused in carrying out some meaningful, in their view, atrocity in Northern Ireland.”

Several violent incidents across Northern Ireland over the past year and a half have been blamed on dissident republicans.

These include the shootings of two police officers in Londonderry and Dungannon in 2007. And last year an officer suffered serious leg injuries after a bomb exploded under his car near Castlederg.

Last summer a milk churn and beer keg packed with explosives were planted beside a bridge in Roslea. Two officers lured to the area by a hoax call escaped being hurt because only the detonator exploded.

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