Sinn Fein councillor says republican arrests an ‘overreaction’

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

SINN Fein councillor Maurice Quinlivan has described the arrest of nine men as part of an investigation into dissident republican activity as an “overreaction”.

SINN Fein councillor Maurice Quinlivan has described the arrest of nine men as part of an investigation into dissident republican activity as an “overreaction”.

The nine men, who range in age from 34 to 66, were arrested during a series of dawn raids at locations across the city and county on Monday.

Over 50 detectives and uniformed garda were involved in the pre-planned raids, which were linked to Operation Ambience, which was launched by the garda commissioner, Martin Callinan, following the funeral of crime figure, Alan Ryan in Dublin last month.

Gardai suspect the nine men arrested in Limerick attended the funeral of the Real IRA leader and that at least one of them played a significant role on the day.

While no firearms or explosives were recovered during Monday’s searches Chief Supt David Sheahan confirmed that a “significant amount of literature” was recovered.

Speaking on Live 95FM yesterday, Cllr Quinlivan, who knows a number of those arrested, said he was surprised when he heard about the arrests.

“It seems to me to be an overreaction from what I am hearing. If it is a case that people are being arrested for going to a funeral, that is pretty disgraceful,” he said.

All nine men arrested in Limerick on Monday have since been released without charge and a file is to be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.