Gardaí target Real IRA bomb maker

 

Gardaí have begun a significant search and arrest operation in north Dublin as part of their investigation into the feud between the Real IRA and criminal gangs in the city that claimed the life of Real IRA key member Alan Ryan last month.

A man was arrested in the course of the searches this morning after firearms, ammunition, live pipe bombs and pipe bomb components were discovered at a halting site in Darndale.

A large group of uniformed gardaí could be seen arriving at the site this morning and panning out to search the large facility off the N32, which links the Malahide Road at Darndale to the M50 in the Northern Cross area.

The teams were searching caravans, outhouses and vehicles on the site and a number of gardaí were also using tools to cut through undergrowth in an effort to find any firearms or pipe bombs that may have been concealed away from the dwellings on the site. A religious grotto at the site was also being closely examined for concealed items.

While the firearms – understood to be shotguns – and pipe bomb components were taken from the site for analysis, gardai called in the Army bomb disposal team to examine two live pipe bombs that were discovered on the site.

The search operation – carried out by 80 gardaí – involves local garda from Coolock station and other stations in the Garda’s northern division backed by the Special Detective Unit, Emergency Response Unit, National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Garda Air Support Unit and the Garda dog and mounted units.

The man in his late 20s who was arrested is being held under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act at Coolock Garda station.

He is from the area and is well known to gardaí for his involvement in organised crime, including drug dealing and helping to source pipe bombs for the Real IRA.

Gardaí believe the man has effectively teamed up with the Real IRA in recent years and used that association to take on other drug dealers in the north Dublin area. He is suspected of directing an operation which has been producing pipe bombs for the Real IRA, some of which were used in attacks by the dissident group late last week.

While those incidents were not publicised at the time, it is understood that three pipe bombs were planted at houses in north Dublin and that two exploded.

The attacks are part of a feud the Real IRA has been engaged in with the a number of organised crime gangs in Dublin from whom the Real IRA has been trying to extort money from in recent years.

The gangs have mainly resisted paying the money and in recent years have effectively come together as a coalition; to work together to resist the Real IRA extortion attempts.

As part of their feud with the dissidents, the Real IRA shot at and almost killed one man in Co Meath two years ago. There have followed a series of gun attacks by both sides, with the shooting dead of Real IRA member Alan Ryan in Clongriffin north Dublin last month significantly escalating the feud.

Gardaí believe the pipe bombs used last week were planted by the Real IRA as part of revenge attacks for the killing of Ryan.