Donegal residents warned as wanted Northern Ireland criminals are put under surveillance
Gardai were stepping up surveillance on two of Northern Ireland's most wanted criminals as residents of a town were warned not to approach them.
Joseph Francis McCabe (29), from west Belfast, is on the run after being released on licence after serving 14 years for the rape of a pensioner.
He had been living in a caravan in the west Donegal village of Burtonport until eight days ago.
McCabe had been sharing the caravan with 18-year-old violent burglar Casey Morgan, also wanted in Northern Ireland.
However, both men were arrested and appeared before Sligo District Court nine days ago and have been staying at an address in nearby Dungloe on the direction of a judge. They are free to move around the area.
Both men were yesterday spotted in the company of a notorious Dublin criminal.
"Gardai have them under surveillance but it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that people here are living in absolute terror," said local county councillor David Alcorn.
"This is a holiday area with a large number of visitors and people are terrified. People are wondering how they can be on the run here when they are wanted in the North."
It's understood the PSNI is drawing up extradition papers -- but gardai are powerless to detain them until those papers arrive.
In the meantime, sources said gardai are "working around the clock" to monitor their movements.
Morgan has been missing in breach of his licence conditions in Northern Ireland since the morning of March 13 last.
A PSNI spokesman said: "Police have taken the step of warning the public about a high-risk violent offender, Casey Morgan, and to ask for assistance in identifying his current whereabouts as there is a licence recall order out for his arrest and he poses a high risk of causing serious harm."
He is described as being around 5ft 11in, of medium build, with short, dark brown hair, and he has a pierced left eyebrow.
Registered sex offender Joseph McCabe was out of jail on licence after serving half of a 14-year prison sentence when he went missing on April 2.
Belfast man McCabe was jailed in 2006 for raping a 64-year-old woman and burgling her north-Belfast home.
At the time, the sentencing judge said that McCabe had subjected his victim to a "terrifying, prolonged ordeal".