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Ireland: 5 IRA dissidents charged over foiled bid to kidnap businessman

Ireland: 5 IRA dissidents charged over foiled bid to kidnap businessman

Five suspected members of an Irish Republican Army splinter gang were arraigned in court Monday after police said they foiled a plot to kidnap a businessman and his family in the city of Cork.
The five men were arrested over the weekend in the southwest counties of Cork, Kerry and Limerick after months of surveillance by Ireland's national police force. Police said the men were members of the Irish National Liberation Army, a 32-year-old breakaway from the outlawed IRA.
Armed police backed by soldiers escorted the handcuffed men into the Special Criminal Court, a three-judge panel that handles terrorism-related cases without a jury. Two other people arrested on suspicion of involvement in the kidnapping plot were released Sunday without charge.
Those charged with membership in an outlawed group were Gareth Dunne, 22; Gerard Kelleher, 26; Edward McGarrigle, 42; John McCrossan, 46, and Neil Myles, 53.
Dunne and Kelleher are residents of the Republic of Ireland, while McGarrigle and McCrossan live in the British territory of Northern Ireland. Myles declined to provide his residential address.
Dunne, Myles and McGarrigle denied being members of the Irish National Liberation Army, while the other two made no comment. All were ordered held until their bail hearing Friday.
Police said they had kept members of the gang under surveillance since 2007 following a tipoff that they planned to kidnap a businessman at his home in Montenotte, a wealthy hilltop district of Cork, Ireland's second-largest city.
The Irish National Liberation Army declared a cease-fire in 1998 after killing more than 100 people, chiefly in Northern Ireland. The INLA exists today chiefly as a criminal gang involved in a wide range of criminal rackets in the Republic of Ireland.
For decades, the IRA and splinter groups have abducted Irish businessmen or their relatives and demanded money for their release.
The most infamous case, committed by the INLA, was the 1987 abduction of the son-in-law of a drug company director. He was held for more than a month and his two little fingers were cut off with a hammer and chisel. That man escaped when police raided an INLA hideout in Dublin.


Updated : 2021-04-13 22:52 GMT+08:00