GARDAI have dealt a second blow to dissident Republicans in County Limerick by seizing a major haul of ammunition, explosives and firearms.
A garda spokesperson said the find was part of a planned joint search between Bruff gardai, Henry Street detectives and the Regional Response Unit.
They swooped on a yard located in the countryside surrounding Murroe village.
The Army Bomb Disposal Unit had to be called due to the nature of the find.
A cordon was erected but due to the rural location no homes had to be evacuated.
“It is part of the investigation into dissident Republicans. We carried out searches in a location in Murroe on the morning of Saturday, December 23. The investigation is ongoing,” said a garda spokesperson.
The Limerick Leader understands that while the device wasn’t primed there were component parts of a viable bomb that could cause an explosion and loss of life.
In mid-December it was reported that gardai in Limerick foiled a plot by dissident Republican criminals to assassinate a soldier in the British Army while he returned to his family in Limerick city this Christmas.
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter declined to comment but did say that Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan had confirmed to him that there was “an ongoing operation in Limerick aimed at the activities of a certain group”.
He was responding in the Dail to Fianna Fail justice spokesman, Niall Collins, who raised the matter of the failed plot by criminals aligned to the Continuity IRA to kill the soldier at a function over the holiday season.
Mr Collins praised the latest garda operation against dissident Republicans in Murroe.
“I was accused of being ‘hysterical’ for raising the matter in the Dail. Some have sought to dismiss the recent successes of the gardai.
“The gardai’s latest seizures in Murroe show the seriousness of the situation.
“It shows the devastation and loss of life that these people have the potential to cause,” said Mr Collins.
County councillor, John Egan, said locals were shocked by the major garda operation on their doorsteps.
“Everybody was shocked at the news. The gardai deserve outstanding praise for their continuous efforts to control these people and ensure the safety of the public at large,” said Cllr Egan.
A large garda presence is expected at two commemorations marking the death of Republican activist Sean South this Sunday, December 6.
Limerick City’s Sinn Fein branch will begin its annual commemoration at Bedford Row at 2.45pm and proceed to the Republican Plot, Mount St Laurence cemetery.
At 1.45pm, a similar commemoration will be held by Republican Sinn Fein.