Dissident republicans linked to gun find in Northern Ireland
A gun was found during a police search of a quarry near Dungiven, the PSNI said yesterday.
Three men arrested by officers investigating dissident republican activity in Co Londonderry were released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service.
The men were arrested in Eglinton and Dungiven by detectives from the Serious Crime Branch last Thursday, and the firearm was discovered during a linked search at a quarry on the Dernaflaw Road near Dungiven.
The Dungiven area has seen an upsurge in dissident republican activity in recent months.
In October, two pipe bombs were found on the Derrychrier Road near the town, which was closed during the operation, causing considerable disruption.
East Londonderry SDLP MLA John Dallat, who represents the area, said last night: "I know Dungiven extremely well and I have yet to find anybody who is in support of what is going on.
"Dungiven suffered down through the years, and the vast majority of people there do not want to return to a past which served nobody and failed everybody.
"People are struggling to get on with their lives, and certainly do not welcome any kind of activity like this, which is part of history and hopefully never to be repeated. Surely to God people will learn from the past and not repeat the same mistakes again."
He welcomed the PSNI focus on combating terrorist activity, both republican and loyalist.
"I'm pleased with any success that the police have in recovering weapons," he continued.
"The weapons are not there to play toy soldiers, they are there to take human life - and nobody wants that.
"I think the need was never greater for people to come together."