Belfast Telegraph

Firearms are seized as gardai raids target dissidents in Dublin

By Ken Foy

Police have seized five firearms and uncovered a suspected bomb-making operation following a series of raids targeting dissident republicans.

An AK-47 assault rifle, a sawn-off shotgun and a number of semi-automatic pistols were among the firearms seized during two weekend raids in Dublin.

Dozens of heavily armed gardai were involved in the search of two properties in the Ballymun and East Wall areas of the city's northside.

The searches targeted dissidents, including a veteran political activist and a suspected bomb-maker.

An Irish army bomb disposal team was drafted in to a property at Balbutcher Drive in Ballymun yesterday afternoon to carry out a controlled explosion on bomb-making equipment found in a house.

Items that could be used to make bombs were discovered underneath the floorboards the previous night.

As the house in Ballymun was being raided, detectives searched a house in the East Wall area and recovered a number of semi-automatic pistols, a sawn-off shotgun and an AK-47 assault rifle.

A 59-year-old dissident activist who was formerly a close associate of slain Real IRA figure Alan Ryan was arrested at the scene.

The suspect was still being questioned at Mountjoy Garda Station last night.

A 47-year-old suspect who was the target of the Ballymun operation was also in Garda custody last night. He is understood to be on bail for IRA membership charges.

He was previously arrested and charged after gardai discovered around 15kg of Semtex at a Real IRA storage depot close to Dublin Airport.

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