herald

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Gardai swoop on CIRA pair and seize loaded gun

Two senior members of the Continuity IRA were arrested when armed gardai stopped a car and seized a loaded revolver.

THE two Dubliners were still being questioned today after members of the Regional Response Unit stopped their car at Ballincurra Weston, Limerick, yesterday.

The two suspects in custody today are senior Continuity IRA figure Dermot Gannon (45) from Mulhuddart and a 44-year-old Ballyfermot man who is a close associate of a Republican who survived a gun attack in September.

Sources believe the arrests will "strike a major blow against the Continuity IRA".

Gannon of Wellview Crescent, Mulhuddart, was the first person to be convicted of membership of an illegal organisation under the 1998 Offences Against the State Act -- legislation which was enacted in the aftermath of the Omagh bomb.

He was sentenced to four years in prison at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin in May, 2001. When the sentence was handed down, Gannon gave a clenched-fist salute and shouted: "Up Oglaigh na hEireann, you w******!" as he was led from the dock.

Evidence was given in the case that gardai believed that Gannon was the leader of a Continuity IRA unit in Dublin in charge of gathering and storing weapons. Special Branch detectives had raided Gannon's home in October 1999 and found berets, four CB radios, army fatigues, and a forged driver's licence.

Also arrested in Limerick yesterday evening was a very close associate of Frank Nolan -- the well known Republican who survived an assassination attempt in September.

Just last weekend, Frank Nolan gave the oration at the annual Sean South commemoration in Limerick's Mount St Lawrence Cemetery.

Nolan spent a number of days in hospital in September after he was was gunned down on Oranmore Road in Ballyfermot as he walked home from collecting his social welfare at a local post office.

kfoy@herald.ie

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