11 May 2006

Paramilitary attacks foiled


**Via Newshound

Possible dissident republican terrorist attacks on both sides of the Irish border and the UK have been foiled by recent police operations, the Republic's top officer has revealed.

WEDNESDAY 10/05/2006 11:09:53
By: Press Association

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usSix members of the Continuity IRA and eight Real IRA suspects were prosecuted last year as a result of intelligence, Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy disclosed.

In his annual report for 2005, Mr Conroy said monitoring of dissident republican activity remains a key activity for An Garda Siochana.

"Recent operations have resulted in the arrest and imprisonment of key players and the prevention of attacks in Ireland and in Northern Ireland and the UK," he said in his report to Justice Minister Michael McDowell.

"An Garda Siochana continues to monitor various groups both domestic and foreign who are assessed as posing a threat to State security or capable of carrying out a terrorist act either here or abroad."

Intelligence-led operations contributed to three prosecutions for possession of explosives in 2005, the report revealed.

The Criminal Assets Bureau continued to target proceeds of crime and officers restrained €7million, while forwarding €18.5million to the Exchequer.

A total of 33 garda operations targeted organised crime in 2005, while the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation profiled more than 120 of the most active criminals and criminal gangs in the state.

The report revealed there were 94 racially motivated offences reported in 2005, an increase on the 84 seen in 2004.

The gardai targeted a 25% reduction in the number of fatal road collisions in the year but the number of deaths rose to 399 in 2005, an increase of 6.4% in the figures reported in 2004.

There were 5,997 separate reports of missing persons in 2005 of which 75 remain untraced.

Three officers were dismissed from the force in 2005 under Regulation 40 of the Garda disciplinary code, which allows the Commissioner to fire an officer without pension rights if he finds that the officer is unfit for retention, subject to the approval of the Minister for Justice.

A total of 16 officers were suspended from duty in 2005, which left a total of 26 on suspension at the end of the year.

Two people died in Garda custody during 2005 having been detained at Store Street and Monaghan Garda Stations.

An officer from outside the Garda Division was appointed in each case to investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths but inquests have not been finalised in either instance.

Overall, the report confirmed the provisional crime statistics released by Minister McDowell in January, which showed an increase in headline, or most serious, crime of 2.7% and a 12.2% increase in non-headline crime.

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