Belfast Telegraph

Gardai hold alleged chief of New IRA in terror probe

By Tom Brady

The alleged leader of the New IRA in the Republic was one of four suspected dissident republican activists arrested by gardai yesterday.

The four were detained in a joint operation by armed detectives from the Special Branch and officers from the Meath division.

They were held in connection with inquiries into cross-border activities by the New IRA as well as an investigation into an incident involving intimidation and threats in Longwood, Co Meath, last month.

All four suspects are from Dublin. The arrests followed breakfast-time searches of houses in the Tallaght and Finglas areas of south and west Dublin respectively.

They were detained for questioning throughout the day about dissident activities and membership of an illegal organisation.

The legislation allows gardai to hold suspects without charge for up to three days.

The senior New IRA figure is in his 40s, from Tallaght, and is well known to the Special Branch.

He has previously been questioned by officers about dissident activities involving the Real IRA, but is alleged to have later switched to the New IRA, taking control of its members in Dublin and Cork.

Another of the four suspects is currently before the courts on unrelated charges.

Meanwhile, a 49 year-old man has been arrested in Strabane in connection with ongoing investigations into dissident republican activity, the PSNI said last night.

He was being questioned at Musgrave Serious Crime Suite.

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