Three arrested in Cork to appear at Special Criminal Court

Gardaí believe men are New IRA members but arrests not directly linked to O’Driscoll killing

Three men arrested by gardaí investigating the activities of dissident republicans in Cork are due to appear in the Special Criminal Court in Dublin on Saturday.

The three men arrested at Cluain Ard estate in Cobh are due to be charged with membership of an illegal organisation.

Three men – a 50-year-old and 36-year-old from Cork city and a man in his 40s from Cobh – were detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

Gardaí also seized a sawn-off shotgun, a handgun and ammunition for both weapons during a search of the house in Cobh.


One of the men will be charged with firearms offences.

Gardaí stress the arrests were not directly linked to the killing of former Real IRA man Aidan O’Driscoll (37).

It is understood Mr O’Driscoll had aligned himself with the New IRA and gardaí suspect the men arrested were members of the organisation.

Mr O'Driscoll was gunned down on Old Commons Road in Blackpool as he headed to his home in Glen Heights, Ballyvolane, Cork.

In a follow-up search, gardaí seized a sawn-off shotgun, a Colt 9mm handgun and ammunition on Commons Road used by associates of Mr O’Driscoll.

Gardaí say weapons seized on the night of Mr O’Driscoll’s killing were not the murder weapons but belonged to the faction with which he was aligned.

Officers suspect Mr O’Driscoll was shot dead by former associates who remain loyal to the Real IRA, following a split that led to the creation of a unit of the New IRA in Cork.

Both sets of weapons – those seized in Cobh and those seized earlier on Commons Road – have been sent to Dublin for forensic and ballistics examination.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times