01 February 2006

Gardaí probe shooting over CIRA grave

Irish Examiner

By Jimmy Woulfe, Mid-West Correspondent

GARDAÍ in Limerick are investigating a shooting incident at the grave of a Continuity IRA member in a city cemetery.

The Continuity IRA have emailed a photograph to various media in Limerick claiming that three men in balaclavas firing shots from handguns were pictured at Mount St Lawrence cemetery on Monday night.

The CIRA said the shots were fired over the grave of a CIRA member, John O’Halloran, who committed suicide in Portlaoise prison last September.

There was a strong garda presence at his funeral.

Superintendent Frank O’Brien said they were investigating reports of a shooting incident at the cemetery.

John O’Halloran was arrested in a major garda operation in the Comeragh Mountains where a CIRA training camp was discovered.

O’Halloran, along with others, was jailed as a result of that operation.

Limerick is one of the main centres for the CIRA outside of Dublin.

It is estimated that there could be up to 80 CIRA activists in the city, some of whom have criminal backgrounds.

The CIRA operates in a number of big housing estates in Ballinacurra Weston, Garryowen and Moyross.

Their development stems from Republican Sinn Féin.

Some of the foremost members of RSF are based in Limerick.

In a huge operation against the CIRA, nine men were arrested in a raid on a house in Ballynanty three years ago. One was convicted of membership of the CIRA and the rest were cleared.

Dublin-based members of the CIRA are known to have held regular meetings in Limerick.

One such meeting took place in a city centre pub when it was crowded for a televised international soccer game.

Some members of the organisation project themselves as self-appointed ‘community activists’ and issue frequent statements on various issues in council estates in the city.

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