Northern Ireland news

Man arrested in Cavan as part of CIRA probe

The Wattlebridge Road and Cavan Road, outside of Newtownbutler, were closed for almost a week due to a security alert.

A MAN in his 40s remained in Garda custody last night being questioned in relation to a Continuity IRA attack in Co Fermanagh.

The man was arrested on Thursday in Co Cavan and is being questioned by officers from the Garda Special Detective Unit under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State.

A heavy police presence has also been visible in the nearby village of Newtownbutler, as the PSNI continue to investigate reports that shots were fired from a high powered rifle at a helicopter.

A hoax device was removed from a rural stretch of the Wattlebridge Road by police for examination and it is understood that a number of rounds of live ammunition were also recovered after an extensive cross border search.

The PSNI and Gardai closed the Wattlebridge Road and Cavan Road for almost a week after a claim by the CIRA that they had carried out a gun attack, in a one of the largest cross border investigations in the area for many years.

Chief Superintendent Andy Freeburn strenuously denied claims that a police helicopter was targeted.

It was later established that a private helicopter was travelling through the area at the time but was not hit.

The Irish News understands that searches of rural outbuildings have been ongoing as police on both sides of the border attempt to trace a van that may have been used by dissident republicans.

The CIRA have increased their activity along the Fermanagh/Cavan border in recent years.

In 2019 police and army bomb disposal officers narrowly escaped injury after booby trap bomb exploded on the Wattlebridge Road, close to the scene of this month's security alert.

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Northern Ireland news