Six men have been arrested following the discovery of a stash of bombs and guns close to where The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will visit in just a few days time, the Irish Daily Mirror reports.
The men were arrested last night in various places across the Republic of Ireland, and all have links to the Continuity and Real IRA. The men are aged from 21 and 62, and one is said to be a leading figure in the dissident republican movement.
A surveillance operation has been ongoing for a number of months, which resulted in last night’s arrests. A ‘suspect device’ was taken from an address in Wexford in connection with the arrests, and police found a pistol and suspected bomb-making equipment in a vehicle near Sligo Racecourse, a place the Royal couple are due to visit.
A man appeared in court just a few days ago, for plotting to kill Prince Charles and his son, William, to put fellow redhead Harry on the throne.
County Louth, Dublin and Wexford were just three areas the men were apprehended by Irish Garda police, and the six are being questioned on suspicion of directing terrorism, membership of an unlawful organisation and possession of explosives.
It is supposedly at Mullaghmore that another part of the plot was to be carried out, despite a number of relationship-building and reconciliatory engagements on the couple’s four day visit. Prince Charles is to make a ‘pilgrimage’ to Mullaghmore, where Earl Mountbatten of Burma, his great-uncle, was killed by the IRA in 1979.
It has since been said there will be a ‘ring of steel around Prince Charles’ during the trip; security is always tight when it comes to Royal visits and engagements, with things planned meticulously well ahead of the event. But in cases like this, where this is a real possibility the Prince and Duchess are at risk of being attacked, nothing is left to chance.
Dublin’s Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said: ‘I expect Prince Charles will have a very positive visit here, and clearly the gardai [police] are alert to any security issues and will deal with any security issues that are arising.’
‘The vast majority of people in Ireland welcome the visit.’
The Queen paid a visit to the Irish Republic in 2011, making it a century since George V set foot on what was once part of the UK. Conflict between southern Ireland and Britain began following the Easter Uprising of 1916, and the ‘Troubles’ began in the 1960s. The Irish state withdrew from the Commonwealth and cut all ties with the British Monarchy in 1949, becoming the Republic of Ireland.
Photo: Andy Gott