Eight held over plans for dissident terror campaign
Eight men were in garda custody last night after detectives thwarted fresh plans by a dissident republican group, the self-styled Oglaigh na hEireann, to mount a new terror campaign in Northern Ireland.
The garda strike, spearheaded by the Special Branch, targeted the "engineering" section of the renegade group, led by a close associate of former Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt.
Officers seized a Magnum revolver, a large quantity of ammunition, a mortar launch pad and other suspected bomb component parts.
The finds were made during 15 garda searches in counties Wexford, Longford, Waterford and Clare.
The searches, which also involve local garda units, were continuing last night and are part of Operation Designer, set up more than two years ago to crack down on terrorist activity.
Anti-terrorist officers believe the group had been trying to re-organise since a series of successes by gardai against them earlier in the year.