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Garda quiz pair over 'New IRA bomb plot'

By Brian Hutton

Published 15/04/2016

Two bodies have been found as Garda searched for two missing men in Galway
Two bodies have been found as Garda searched for two missing men in Galway

Two men were last night being questioned about a suspected New IRA bomb plot after explosives were discovered in a car at a busy junction in Dublin.

The pair, in their early 30s and early 40s, were detained at separate stations in the city and the suspected explosives were sent for forensic analysis.

It is not yet known if the material is home-made or commercial grade, but sources said they were linking the discovery to the dissident republican group.

The renegade faction, which opposes the peace process, last month claimed responsibility for a bombing that led to the death prison officer Adrian Ismay.

Mr Ismay passed away 11 days after suffering serious leg injuries when explosives detonated underneath his van as he drove to work from his east Belfast home.

The latest find was made when armed detectives stopped a Skoda on Dublin's Naas Road, close to the Long Mile Road junction, at around 7.30pm on Wednesday.

Army bomb experts were sent to make the area safe.

The two suspects arrested at the scene were taken to Ballyfermot and Ronanstown Garda stations. They were last night being questioned under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

The New IRA is a small but deadly organisation that has been linked to killings of another prison officer and a policeman.

Its members are said to be drawn from Omagh, Coalisland and the Toomebridge and Ballyronan areas along the shore of Lough Neagh, and from counties Monaghan and Louth in the Republic.

However, the two suspects arrested in Dublin both have addresses in the city.

Senior police officers on both sides of the border had concerns dissidents were planning attacks to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising.

The rebellion ultimately led to the partition of the island and the creation of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Last Friday armed detectives investigating the New IRA made two "highly significant" arrests and seized thousands in cash as part of a surveillance operation.

The Special Detective Unit pounced on the suspects in a hotel near Dundalk, Co Louth, where it is believed a cash handover was taking place.

One of the arrested men is a well-known dissident republican based in the Ballymun area.

He was arrested with a Belfast man who has been a top target for the PSNI, according to sources.

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