Breaking news, derry ira charges, Dublin real ira, dissident republicans, drug dealers, informers, sean connolly, eamon Kelly murder, an garda siochana
A court where three men have appeared in connection with the discovery of an armour-piercing rocket in Londonderry has heard that the device contained Semtex explosive.
The accused arrived at Bishop Street courthouse in Derry on Monday, to cheers from waiting supporters and amid a heavy security presence.
Damien Harkin, 47 and from Westland Avenue; Jason Lee Ceulman, 42 and from Lecky Road; and 47-year-old Neil Christopher Hegarty, from Sackville Street, are all suspected members of the 'New IRA'.
They are charged with possession of an EFP - and explosively formed projectile - and with conspiracy to murder and possession of walkie-talkies for use in an act of terrorism.
The three men were arrested in a Renault Mégane, which was stopped by police in the Creggan area of the city on Thursday night.
During a search of the vehicle, officers found a holdall containing an armour-piercing rocket.
Appearing in the dock, all three men refused to recognise the court.
But a detective constable said that she could connect all three accused with the charges and added that police believed they had "foiled a deadly attack".
The court heard that the device had contained 200g of Semtex plastic explosive and, if it had been deployed, it would have caused extensive damage, loss of life, or serious injury.
The detective constable further told the court that police believed all three accused were members of a group styled as the 'New IRA', which posed a "significant threat" to police and prison officers.
During police questioning, none of the men had admitted membership of the group or made any further admissions.
Their bail applications were adjourned amid legal arguments over the admissibility of intelligence evidence and will now be heard on Thursday.
Real IRA Dublin Whats Happening?
THE MAN charged with the murder of criminal godfather Eamon Kelly is under 24-hour protection in jail after being accused of informing on his Real IRA 'comrades'. 34-yearold Sean Connolly is in an isolation cell on 'A' Landing in Portlaoise prison, after threats to his life from Real IRA inmates.
It had been expected that the mobster would be housed in the Real IRA landing at the jail when he arrived on Friday night, but he has been moved to a 'safe' landing over fears he could be murdered. His former dissident pals believe that he has given gardai detailed information about the murder of Kelly and has implicated five men in the plot.
Jail bosses decided that it was not safe for the father of two to mix with Real IRA prisoners and sources say that he did not object and was "happy" to go on protection.
Connolly was charged with murder at the Special Criminal Court after being arrested just minutes after Eamon Kelly was shot dead. The 65-year-old was shot three times in the chest with a handgun as he walked towards his home at Furry Park Road in Killester at about 4pm last Monday. As his accomplice slowed down in a Lexus car, the gunman jumped out of the car and opened fire.
Shortly after the shooting, gardai - who were patrolling the area - pounced on Connolly, who was near to a black Lexus which had been set alight. He spent four full days in Garda custody before being charged with the murder.
Real IRA chiefs were suspicious that he was charged considering that gardai had not found the gun used in the murder, and believed there was little to link him to the killing. They did not trust Connolly because of his links to a prominent Crumlin drugs gang and accused him of informing.
Their suspicions were heightened yesterday when gardai swooped to arrest six people in connection with the Kelly slaying.
One of those in custody is a convicted IRA member who has links to a prominent Sinn Fein elected representative.
A source said: "The Real IRA smelt a rat when Connolly was charged and it was decided that he must have spoken to gardai and named names, which is the ultimate no-no.
"Intelligence was received that there was a serious threat to his life so there is no way that he could have been allowed into the RIRA landing, not that they would have let him in.
"He's not allowed to mix with anyone. There are serious concerns for his safety even though there is no evidence he has given gardai any info.
"However, he is very unpopular in the organisation and was always shunned by Alan Ryan and the Dublin leadership."
Sean Connolly and other members of the Real IRA were seen openly snorting cocaine at the Swedish House Mafia gig, that cocaine was supplied by members of Brian Rattigan’s drug gang. Some members of the Real IRA were seriously compromised by their abuse of drugs and it is understood that Eamon Kelly, members of Continuity IRA and other drug dealers had inside information that helped them track down and use a Provo for hire hit-man to murder Alan Ryan.
It is understood that Sean Connolly had been given Eamon Kelly as a 'target' by the Real IRA's Northern leadership in a bid to exert control over the organisation's Dublin wing. The Real IRA has been gripped by internal dissent since its boss Ryan was gunned down in September.
Kelly is not believed to have had any significant involvement in Alan Ryan's murder, but instead was targeted to put manners on drug gangs and to encourage them to pay protection money.
Despite his public anti-drugs and anti-crime stance, Connolly struck up close links with members of mobster Brian Rattigan's gang since his release from prison last year. He was spotted with junior members of the gang at last summer's controversial Swedish House Mafia concert - including Rattigan's cousin Aaron.
Following Ryan's murder in September, RIRA bosses are said to have assigned 'targets' to individual cell leaders in Dublin. It is believed that Connolly was placed in charge of two units of the RIRA on Dublin's southside after Ryan's murder. Connolly was a friend of Ryan and they were both on the same wing of Portlaoise Prison during the last decade.
However, Connolly's dissident gang is believed to have operated independently of Ryan's. A source claimed that Connolly has become increasingly paranoid following Ryan's death, and there has always been a suspicion that he was working for the security services. Connolly had travelled north of the border on a number of occasions although he was allegedly wanted for serious crimes in the north. This pattern follows previous activity by INLA members during the 1986 feud, where certain individuals were able to travel north without arrest.
Connolly's RIRA mob has been responsible for a wave of violence. This included the savage shooting of innocent banker Keith Deegan in Tallaght in April and the placing of a pipe bomb at the home of an elderly female relative of Eric 'Lucky' Wilson. Connolly is also believed to have threatened Lucky's brother, John. He was furious with the Wilson family as he blamed one of their close associates for killing his pal, Darren Cogan, in July 2011.
In April, Connolly's gang members shot Deegan (32), in the thigh and foot at his home in Citywest in a case of mistaken identity. Connolly's brother is also a well-known criminal with more than 30 convictions. In September, Ronan Connolly (28), was given a seven-month sentence for handling stolen property and burglary. The court heard he was caught in possession of a vice grips in Galway in June 2012 with the intent to use it in the course of a burglary.
In December, Sean Connolly was also arrested after two men were shot in Bluebell, Dublin. Sean Kearns (43), from Claddagh Road, Ballyfermot, was shot in the leg and Stephen Fitzpatrick (24), suffered injuries to the chest when gunmen broke into the house on Huband Road.
Detectives believe Mr Fitzpatrick was not a target and was shot by accident. Connolly was held for 48 hours before being released without charge.
Condemning drug dealers in public Snorting in Private
RIRA SUSPECT Nathan Kinsella (33), was kneecapped after cocaine was allegedly found in his apartment by an internal dissident discipline squad.
A stash of drugs - which included cocaine and 'downers' - were found in Kinsella's north inner-city apartment by the RIRA's internal security unit last month. The find has led to a major split within the group in Dublin, with a number of people effectively being kicked out of the organisation. However, some people who have attended house parties run by the RIRA had told of the use of class A drugs by Real IRA members and the use of under-age girls.
It is believed that Kinsella strenuously denied being the owner of the drugs, but he was ignored and was shot twice in the legs before being dumped in Ballyfermot on November 25. Kinsella was quizzed by gardai, but has claimed he did not know the shooter.
On Thursday, Kinsella's close pal Daryl Mulcahy (21), was refused entry on to the E3 landing in Portlaoise Prison by Real IRA members. Hours earlier, Mulcahy had been charged with membership of the RIRA and unlawful possession of a firearm. It is alleged that he was set up by a high ranking informer.
A source has said illegal drugs being found in the possession of a senior member is the RIRA's "worst nightmare". The terror group use their so-called anti-drugs stance to get support from vulnerable communities on both sides of the border - despite the fact they allow gangs to sell drugs as long as they pay a tax.
The discovery of the drugs in Kinsella's apartment has sent shockwaves through the RIRA and has led to the Northern leadership effectively taking control of the Dublin brigade. However, the reality is that the Real IRA in Dublin are nothing more than de-facto drug dealers.
Under Ryan's leadership, the RIRA in Dublin were largely independent and only had to send funds up to the North. Now senior dissidents from the North have taken control and are attempting to stamp out blatant criminality within the group, however, with Dublin gang members pocketing the majority of proceeds from criminal activity it is unlikely that trend will stop.
In September, Kinsella was charged with IRA membership in the Special Criminal Court as part of the investigation into paramilitary criminal activity at the funeral of Alan Ryan.
This week, SDU Detective Brian Power told the Special Criminal Court that he had arrested Mulcahy, outside Mountjoy Garda Station on the North Circular Road. He said he had arrested him for possession of a firearm under suspicious circumstances the previous day on Temple Street, Dublin, and for membership of the IRA on the same occasion.
Detective Power said he informed Mulcahy that the DPP had directed he be brought before the next sitting of the Special Criminal Court charged with the offences and that he made no reply to either charge.
Dessie O’Hare – Serial Killer back in the fray
THIS IS the friendship that spells the unofficial declaration of war for the Real IRA mob that whacked gangland godfather Eamon Kelly. The cocaine-smuggling pensioner had mentored some of Ireland's most evil drug lords over the years, but it's his association with the 'Border Fox', self-confessed serial killer Dessie O'Hare, which is striking dread into detectives leading the fight on organised crime.
The notorious INLA chief, who once admitted murdering 26 people, was regularly seen socialising in pubs in Clontarf with Kelly. Sean Connolly (34), of Bernard Curtis House, Bluebell, Dublin, was charged with Kelly's murder at a special sitting of the Special Criminal Court this weekend. He was also charged with IRA membership and possession of a weapon. Detectives hope the development will diffuse some of the tension in the city.
"Given who's involved all hell could still break loose," a source said.
Once Ireland's most wanted man, 56- year-old O'Hare was released in 2006 after serving 19 years of a 40-year sentence, following the Good Friday Agreement. The psycho was captured in a shootout in Kilkenny in 1987 after cutting off dentist John O'Grady's fingers with a hammer and chisel. He also infamously took a bolt cutter to another victim's ear before shooting him dead.
Now crime fighters fear the tit-for-tat feud that saw Real IRA boss Alan Ryan taken out in September is about to escalate into the bloodiest underworld battle ever.
"Eamon Kelly and Dessie O'Hare became best buddies in Portlaoise," a Sunday World source said.
"Eamon was top of the 'food chain' in the prison and this was at a time when you had the remnants of Martin Cahill's gang, people like Harry Melia, serving alongside John Gilligan's gang, and Christy 'Bronco' Dunne."
The rogues' gallery were behind some of the most notorious crimes ever committed in the State: Martin Cahill's gang of armed robbers planted the car bomb that caused devastating injuries to the founder of the forensic science lab, Dr Jim Donovan, while druglord John Gilligan was tried and acquitted of the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin. And Christy Dunne was the notorious brother of hated kingpin Larry Dunne, who flooded Dublin with heroin in the seventies and early eighties.
"Eamon Kelly would have got on with all of them, but also with the younger lads who were confrontational. He was also the only one who could get through to Dessie," said our source.
Father-of-nine Kelly became best mates with INLA headcase O'Hare through his involvement with Saor Eire in the 1970s. The organisation wanted to spark a socialist revolution funded by armed bank robberies, shooting garda Richard Fallon dead in cold blood as he intervened in a bank robbery on Dublin's Arran Quay in 1970.
"Kelly was in Saor Eire in the seventies," our source said.
"Himself and Dessie would go for long walks in the yard and God only knows what they were plotting."
Detectives fear O'Hare, who has grown increasingly paranoid in recent years, will pull out all stops to avenge Kelly's death. O'Hare was the victim of a suspected beating by dissident republicans near Kelly's home last year. He told medics in Dublin's Mater Hospital that he'd been involved in a hit and run.
Four years ago his brother Paddy took his own life after Dessie invested in his business and it lost everything in the property crash. Kelly had previously survived an assassination attempt two years ago when a pistol pointed at his temple jammed. Now he's gone, detectives fear O'Hare will go to whatever lengths necessary to avenge his old pal.