TCM Breaking News carries a report,Gardaí probe possible IRA link Cork robbery bid, that two men arrested in connection with a hostage-taking and attempted extortion in Cork, involving a hand gun and a stun gun, had connections to provisional IRA.
The attempt at extortion involved holding a pregnant woman at gunpoint.
Hat-tip to ATWThree men were arrested, two reportedly with addresses in Dundalk and one from Belfast. Gardaí were said to be investigating if the operation was carried out on their own behalf or on behalf of the IRA.
According to The Irish Independent, article Former Provo heads gang that held pair at gunpoint by Ralph Riegel
and Tom Brady,
The gang leader had left the O’Donovan house before the Gardai arrived but was arrested in Dublin city centre around lunchtime yesterday.
He is regarded by gardai as an active criminal.
He was kicked out of the Provisional IRA more than two years ago after a terrorist court martial into the activities of members who were siphoning off some of the proceeds of crimes.
The gang leader was the victim of a punishment shooting and ejected from the Provisional movement along with the then commanding officer of the IRA’s Dublin brigade. The suspect made several attempts to be re-instated but was refused and set up his own crime gang in the Dundalk area.
His activities meant he was targeted by the Criminal Assets Bureau. He also escaped from custody in the North but was subsequently arrested by gardai and served a 10-year jail term in Portlaoise. He was then granted a special dispensation by Queen Elizabeth to return to the North without fear of prosecution.