Derry arrests in connection with New IRA activities

The PSNI and Gardaí conducted a cross-border operation this week to ‘combat’ the activities of the New IRA.

Late last night it emerged that detectives from the PSNI's Terrorism Investigation Unit have been granted further extensions by the court to question nine people who were arrested in connection with an 'ongoing investigation into the activities of the New IRA'.

Crime Operations Assistant Chief Constable Barbara Gray said: “The Court granted a further 72 hours detention from 5.00am on Thursday, August 20th for the 7 men and 2 women, aged between 26 and 50 years, who were arrested as part of Operation Arbacia.

“They will remain in Musgrave Serious Crime Suite where they will continue to be questioned on suspicion of a wide range of terrorist activity.”

PSNI officers made a number of arrests under the Terrorism Act across the North on August 18.

An Garda Síochána also carried out a number of searches in support of the operation in the Republic of Ireland.

“The searches in this jurisdiction were carried out at locations in Dublin, Laois, Cork and Kerry and were part of ongoing operations to combat the activities of the New IRA,” a Garda spokesperson said.

“The searches were conducted by members of the Special Detective Unit assisted by local Gardaí and Regional Armed Support Units.

“An Garda Síochána has no further comment at this time.”

Solicitor Ciarán Shiels of Madden & Finucane is representing one of the Derry men arrested as part of what he described as the MI5 and PSNI operation against the New IRA.

He confirmed that 'following an application by the PSNI to detain the 9 suspects for a further period of 5 days since their arrest yesterday, Judge Pat Lynch QC would only permit an additional 72 hours to question the detainees without judicial intervention.'

Defence lawyers, he said, 'strongly objected' to the manner in which the PSNI has been conducting interviews of the suspects thus far.

Mr Shiels added that court will resume at 2pm on Saturday to consider any further time in police custody.

Eight members of ‘Irish Revolutionary Republican Socialist Party’, Saoradh, were amongst those arrested, including those in Derry.

Saoradh National Press Officer Paddy Gallagher, who is from the city, said: “In what has clearly been a deliberate and coordinated MI5 led attack on Saoradh, a number of party members have been detained following heavy handed home invasions by British Crown Forces with further raids by Garda ERU this morning.

“At least one Saoradh member has been strip searched when hauled off to Musgrave Interrogation Unit. 

“Since the formation of Saoradh, the British and Free State governments have used an array of draconian measures to suppress the party.

“By targeting party members, their families and supporters, the oppressor has sought to bully the party out of existence.”

He added: “Today's MI5 led operation which has witnessed the detainment of several members throughout Derry, Tyrone, Armagh and further raids in Dublin, Cork and Kerry is another example of targeted attacks in a futile attempt to stop the growth of our party. 

“Saoradh is not a proscribed organisation, we have as our means political agitation, mobilisation and grassroots activism. Since our formation in 2016 we have grown and we continue to grow.

“We have four public offices with more planned, each one open and accessible to the public. This harassment will not deter us. 

“What the state does today on Irish Republicans it will not hesitate to use tomorrow on the rest of society.

“You may not share our opinion, you may be diametrically opposed to it, as is your right, but you must understand that the denial of our rights today is the denial of your rights tomorrow.”

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