Three men have been arrested in a major garda search operation in Limerick city, on suspicion of membership of an unlawful dissident republican gang styling itself the IRA.
Gardaí said they arrested all three “on suspicion of being part of an unlawful organisation”.
The men were detained in early morning searches of six properties in a planned operation involving “up to 40” gardaí.
The arrests were made in “the city centre and its suburbs”, according to a reliable source.
“Documentation and electronic devices” were seized including “mobile phones”.
These items are to be “analyzed” by gardaí, and any evidence gleaned from the phones and documentation will be put to those under arrest.
The men are being held by gardaí on suspicion of being members of a group styling itself “the IRA”, a source said.
“As part of an ongoing operation targeting suspected dissident republican activity, Gardaí carried out searches at six properties in Limerick city and county this morning, September 30,” read a garda statement released to reporters this afternoon.
“Up to 40 members of An Garda Síochána from the Limerick Division and the Special Detective Unit, Harcourt Square, supported by the Regional Armed Support Unit, were involved in the operation.”
Two of three suspects are aged “in their 20s” and one is aged “in his 40s”.
They are all being detained at garda stations in the city “under Section 30 Offences Against the Station Act, 1939/98, as amended”.
This means they can be held for up to 72 hours without charge.
The men’s detentions can be extended after the first 24 hours in custody on the order of a Chief Superintendent.
Under the Act, Gardai must go to court to apply for a final extension after 48 hours, should they require it.