"Astonishing" and "sensational" developments

Yes, well… That’s a couple of the political reactions noted by the Irish Examiner, which recaps the story so far, and names several of those arrested – apart from, bizarrely, the former SF councillor and election agent (who has been named elsewhere as Tom Hanlon). And provides a brief background to the money lender whose house was raided yesterday.

According to the Irish Examiner Ted Cunningham, who is a registered moneylender, was placed under surveillance several months ago by Special Branch detectives and would appear to be the initial focus of the investigation.

A convenient time-line on the events of the last couple of days from the Irish Examiner –

Wednesday:

4.30pm: Three men, two from Derry and one from Cork, arrested at Heuston station. The Corkman was found carrying €94,000 in cash. The two men from Derry have strong republican links.

9pm: Two men arrested in Cork – one in Passage West and the other in Douglas. George Hegarty, who is in his early 50s, was arrested at his home at Donnybrook Cottages, Douglas where £60,000 in Northern Bank notes was discovered. It’s believed Mr Hegarty has links to Sinn Féin.

The man arrested in Passage West was last night being held at Togher Garda Station in Cork city. Mr Hegarty was detained at Mayfield Garda Station.

Thursday

9am: A financial premises in Ballincollig, Co Cork, is raided by detectives who remove a number of files.

11am: Financier Ted Cunningham and his partner, Cathy Armstrong, were arrested at a house at Church View, Farran, nine miles west of Cork city. Gardaí discovered over £2.3 million (€3.2m) in cash.

Gardaí also secure a number of other premises across the city.

5pm: Local reports of garda raids in a number of premises in Dundalk. There were no arrests, but a number of documents were seized. However, the garda press office refused to comment.

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