Bugging and MI5 agent behind ‘New IRA’ arrests

THE suspected leadership of the ‘New IRA’ was bugged at two meetings and had an MI5 agent in its ranks, The Irish News has learned (pictured below).

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Some of the North of Ireland’s most prominent republicans were last night being questioned by detectives for the fourth night with the expectation that serious charges will follow.

Those arrests  include:

■ Kevin Barry Murphy from Coalisland, once described as the leader of the Real IRA in East Tyrone.

■ Damien McLaughlin, also from Co Tryone, who was cleared in 2018 of charges linked to the murder of prison officer David Black.

■ Co Armagh woman Mandy Duffy, a chairperson of the New IRA’s political wing Saoradh and a sister-in-law of veteran republican Colin Duffy.

■ David Jordan, sentenced to seven years in 2010 for dissident activity in the Republic.

■ His wife Sharon Jordan, formerly Rafferty, who was one of a gang of four jailed in 2014 for a string of offences including the setting up of a training camp at Formil Wood on the outskirts of Omagh, Co Tryone.

■ Shea Reynolds from Lurgan, the youngest of the nine. He was previously charged with being part of a terror plot targeting a retired PSNI/RUC officer.

■ Gary Hayden from Derry, convicted last year of taking part in an illegal parade organised by Saoradh in the Creggan estate in 2018.

■ Saoradh Derry chairman Joe Barr, also convicted of taking part in the 2018 parade.

■ Paddy McDaid from Derry, who in 2013 was given a 16-month suspended jail term after being convicted of managing a meeting in support of a organisation.

It is also understood that a man not originally from the North of Ireland going by the name of Dennis McFadden (pictured above) a double agent and MI5 informer  but who was often seen in the company of senior republicans has left his Belfast home.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Allison Morris SECURITY CORRESPONDENT for the original story –a.morris@irishnews.com

Operation targeting the ‘IRA’ bugged meetings in ‘Operation Arbacia’

A MAJOR surveillance operation targeting the ‘IRA’ involved the bugging of two meetings earlier this year.

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It is understood the meetings were held at separate locations in Co Tryone and that both audio and video evidence has been gathered. Ciarán Shiels, of Madden and Finucane Solicitors, who represents one of those arrested last night said it is alleged that the chief of staff and chairman of the ‘IRA’, which is sometimes referred to as the New IRA, addressed members of the organisation’s executive at both meetings. Mr Shiels said that around 500 PSNI/RUC officers were involved in the operation which has secured 36 hours of recordings. The solicitor said an emerging issue centres on the possible activity of a British agent.

The seven men and two women were arrested in early morning raids in Derry, Tyrone and Armagh on Thursday as part of operation police have called Arbacia. It is understood the operation was conducted in cooperation with MI5. On Wednesday police were granted an extra 72 hours to question the nine, who range in age from 26 to 50. Properties in Dublin, Laois, Cork and Kerry were also searched by gardai as part of the cross-border operation. The Irish News understands that others are wanted in connection with the investigation. Four offices across the north used by hardline republican party Saoradh were also raided and one party member from Scotland was also arrested but later released without charge by the police on Thursday. Some of those arrested are members of the party’s national executive. Police on both sides of the border have said the arrests and searches are linked to an investigation focusing on the activities of the New IRA. The Irish News understands the first meeting, at a rented property between Cookstown and Omagh, took place in February. Sophisticated cameras and listening devices are believed to have been located throughout the building. A second meeting is understood to have taken place at a property in the Gortin area last month. Again, it is understood conversations between those attending were recorded.

Meanwhile, it is understood that a West Belfast man going by the name of Dennis McFadden had a role in arranging the meetings has not been seen since the middle of this week. Sources say that the contents of his home were packed into a removal van on Wednesday and that friends and acquaintances have been unable to contact him. It is understood the missing man was also responsible for transporting some of those arrested to both meetings. Mr Shiels said: “An issue that is emerging is the possible activity of a British agent provocateur in connection with the arrangement, facilitation and logistical support for both meetings and entrapment of the individuals said to have attended,” he said. The ‘IRA’ is the largest and most active of the armed groups opposed to the Good Friday Agreement. It was formed in 2012 after a merger between the now defunct Real IRA, Republican Action Against Drugs and a group of independent republicans.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Connla Young for the original story –@c.young@irishnews.com

Follow these links to find out more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-53875031

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Red Cross to chair forum seeking solution to Maghaberry dispute.

Red Cross to chair forum seeking solution to Maghaberry dispute.

THE International Committee of the Red Cross has agreed to chair a prison forum involving republican inmates in a bid to ease tensions at a Co Antrim jail.

The Red Cross took on the role after being asked by justice minister David Ford and receiving the backing of republican prisoners in Maghaberry. The involvement of the internationally recognised humanitarian organisation comes after years of conflict at the high security prison. The establishment of the forum was recommended by an independent ‘stocktake’ published last year. However, republican inmates refused to take part in the forum after a former member of the prison’s Board of Visitors, Tom Millar, was appointed as chairman without consultation. It is understood both prisoners and senior jail officials will take part in the forum which will discuss the stocktake. Republican prisoners are currently held in the prison’s Roe Four and Roe Three landings. The forum will be chaired by Geoff Loane, who is the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) head of office in Belfast. “The ICRC believes such a role fits within the organisation’s humanitarian mandate and is compatible with its fundamental principles of neutrality, independence and impartiality,” he said.
“After having consulted on this matter, the ICRC accepted the position of chair for a six-month period on the basis that all parties to the forum agree to the ICRC taking up the role. He said the forum is “now addressing substantive issues on the basis of an agreed agenda.” In the past Mr Loane has overseen ICRC visits to the US-run Guantanamo Bay. He has also worked in conflict zones including the Balkans, Middle East and the Horn of Africa. The Red Cross has been active in the North of Ireland since the 1950s and undertook prison visits until 1999, a year after the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) was signed. The Geneva-based organisation set up a full-time office in Belfast in 2011. Last year’s stocktake was carried out by an independent assessment team appointment by justice minister David Ford to look at a deal struck in 2010 to relax strip searches and controlled movement in the prison. Republicans claim that authorities have failed to implement the 2010 agreement. They also say that prison chiefs have failed to act on the last year’s stocktake. In 2012 republican prisoners ended a no-wash protest weeks after prison officer David Black was shot dead by the ‘IRA’ as he travelled to work at Maghaberry prison along the M1 Motorway. Tensions in the jail boiled over earlier this year after prisoners claimed that movement was restricted during building work. Last week republicans held protests after claims that two inmates were forcibly moved from their cells. A spokesman for the DoJ said: “The minister of justice has asked the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to act as independent chair to the prisoners forums for separated prisoners. “The ICRC has agreed to this request in its neutral and impartial role.” Mandy Duffy from the Irish Republican Prisoners’ Welfare Association (IRPWA) said: “Republican  political prisioners will not be drawn into a situation which is all process and no progress even if it is chaired by an independent body such as ICRC.” Connla Young, The Irish News. For the oranginal story.

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Bid to force NIO minister to appear at trio’s paramilitary trial rejected.

A JUDGE has rejected a bid to force an NIO minister to appear in court to be quizzed by lawyers acting for three Co Armagh men facing paramilitary charges.

Andrew Robathan, pictured above, a former member of the SAS who served in the British army during the 1970s and 1980s, including the North of Ireland, was appointed a minister of state in October last year. Paul Duffy, along with his brother Damien Duffy and cousin Shane Duffy, all from Lurgan, are facing a number of charges relating to republican paramilitary activity including conspiring to murder and cause explosions. Mr Robathan has provided a statement, known as a “certificate”, in support of anonymity applications by seven British secret service officers involved in an MI5 surveillance operation against the men. The accused argued their legal team should be given an opportunity to cross-examine the minister. Arrested in 2012, all three men have since been granted bail while they await trial. Paul Duffy’s wife Mandy expressed disappointment on Thursday night after district court judge Mervyn Bates dismissed the application. “As a family we are concerned at the decision to permit NIO minister Andrew Robathon to have a statement admitted against our loved ones,” she said.

With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News.


Support our POW’s..

The Family and friends of Maghaberry POW‘s,
have organised a Whiteline picket,
This Saturday 4th Feb,
at 2pm, in Lineside, Coalisland,
We are asking people to make the effort to attend and show your support,
Please pass on..

Posted on Behalf Of : Mandy Duffy– Public Event & Everyone Welcome.

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