Major police, customs and army operation in Louth and Armagh

Few details on this story so far, but both RTÉ and the Press Association report a major police operation on both sides of the border thought to be connected to the investigation noted in October last year. Both reports say that the home of Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy was one of the first to be searched in what is described as a “well-planned operation [which] began at first light and involved hundreds of police, army and customs personnel from both sides of the border.” – even less detail, so far, in the BBC report. More from RTÉ Morning Ireland audio report[RealPlayer file] “well-planned.. co-ordinated approach” Update again The earlier PA report seems to have been pulled by UTV – for this report.. but IOL have an update though, casting doubt on the ARA investigation connection, and RTÉ report 3 arrests.

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  • DK

    I caught a bit of a story on the news last night about a load of red diesel being dumped in a river in South Armagh. I wonder if the two are related?

    DK

  • Pete Baker

    I seriously doubt it, DK.. the reports on these searches suggest a long-planned operation co-ordinated between the Garda and PSNI as well as other agencies.

  • fair_deal

    Maybe someone got a whimper it was coming and disposed of the red diesel before the raids?

  • I would work on the assumption that it is part of the Breen-Buchanan inquiry – an attempt to connect Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy to Garda Det. Sergeant Eoin Corrigan.

    If the connection is made – like two nicely coordinated logs of calls made to each other, something any clever operator would want to keep around for posterity – it would apparently show that Corrigan tipped off Murphy about the RUC officers’ return in 1989 from the Republic.

    I wouldn’t be surprised that David Shayler will soon be telling us that he saw info to this effect when he started working for MI5 in late 1991 – just something the lax layabouts had hanging around his English office.

    In sum, the stuff is going to be rising quickly now, so you better put on your Wellies!

  • ingrammartin

    This is to be welcomed. Those that have used the Republican cause to line their own pockets should be brought to task. The Slabs of this world are the biggest threat to the peace, the Irish for the very first time are moving against Republicans in a big way WHY? because they are becoming a real threat to the Irish state at the ballot box. The money generated by these criminals is being used to prop up Sinn Fein and although the North can over come this advantage the Republic is susceptable to this threat.

    Lets watch for leading Shinners coming out with the normal ” Political policing” crap. Cue Blogging committee.

    Martin

  • DK

    Martin,

    There is also the wider environmental concerns. If there is constant dumping of toxins then the livestock of other farmers and local people too is at risk. Maybe this is environmental rather than political and some concerned local people might be complaining.

    DK

  • lib2016

    I’m a SF voter – if there are criminals about then by all means let them be prosecuted. Republicans had plenty of excuses for raising money illegally in the past when they were persecuted by the state for their beliefs and their activities were frequently illegal by necessity.

    That situation has changed and republicans have to adjust to the new realities. I don’t know about ‘leading Shinners’ but it’s certainly true that we have suffered from political policing in the North.

    You appear to be advocating that policy for the South. Given what happened with political policing in the North I hope they have more sense.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Yip, after the raid on the Alexandria Bar and the unionist yelps of whataboutery a raid of this type, on the unionists favourite pantomine villian was as likely as night follows day.

    I note that the media sought at first to link the raids to the £30 million (sorry half million) property raids in Manchester, although this now appears to be dropped.

  • DK

    Pat,

    Then why would the Irish police be involved?

    If I was a Sinn Fein voter and a prominent member of Sinn Fein dumped a load of rubbish in my garden, who would I contact to complain. Not the PSNI, maybe the Garda. The Garda then realise that they need to co-operate with the PSNI in a border area & contact them. Some weeks of meetings and organising later (during which the Alexandra is raided), the border operation goes ahead.

    Then the accusations of political policing start.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    DK,

    What has rubbish in your garden got to do with anything or are you trying to draw a rather confused analogy?

  • DK

    Pat,

    There is the possibility that some people in S Armagh might be a bit pissed off at the toxins being dumped. So who’re they gonna call? Ghostbusters?

    DK

  • ingrammartin

    Pat,

    Quote”What has rubbish in your garden got to do with anything or are you trying to draw a rather confused analogy”Unquote

    You know what DK is refering to! the illegal dumping of the by product of this illegal activity. The border region is ravaged by this activity. You should not display your perceived ignorance to this Republican activity because the locals knows only too well who is dumping it and they know too who is pocketing the proceeds too.

    You should hang your head in shame Pat defending this activity, DK is a Sinn Fein voter but he is not nor should he be treated as a mute.

    Martin.

    P.S. This day is long in coming now push on to really take these Criminals on.

  • gobsheen

    Tony Soprano is great to watch on telly, but do we really want him or his stooges having any say in the running of this country north or south?

    Wake up Sinn Fein supporters to the fact that the party are inextricably linked to the irish mafia – gangster scum who profit from the loss and suffering of all irish people.

    True republicans will realise that sinn fein and their criminal cohorts are a bigger hindrance than unionism to the united ireland most people on this island desire.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    DK,

    ‘There is the possibility that some people in S Armagh might be a bit pissed off at the toxins being dumped. So who’re they gonna call? Ghostbusters?’

    Are you seriously suggesting these raids were linked to enviromental matters? Although the reporting is thus far confused and contradictory I have not heard that opinion before.

  • Seano

    DK

    “Wake up Sinn Fein supporters to the fact that the party are inextricably linked to the irish mafia – gangster #### who profit from the loss and suffering of all irish people.”

    Please tell us how the supposed fuel smuggling by Slab Murphy, makes Irish people suffer?

  • DK

    “Please tell us how the supposed fuel smuggling by Slab Murphy, makes Irish people suffer?”

    1. Legitimate petrol stations can’t compete & close = unemployment
    2. Slab spills his fuel & dumps the toxins. Local livestock & wildlife poisoned, rural people at risk.
    3. Loss of revenue to customs. Less schools & hospitals.

    I’m sure others can think of more. Note also that the above problems would happen to all sections of the community and to both sides of the divide.

    On another note – Martin, I do vote Green, but not Sinn Fein!

    DK

  • sohnlein

    “Yip, after the raid on the Alexandria Bar and the unionist yelps of whataboutery a raid of this type, on the unionists favourite pantomine villian was as likely as night follows day.”

    A clear case of discriminatory policing there…

    “I’m a SF voter – if there are criminals about then by all means let them be prosecuted.”

    The problem is that Sinn Fein do not recognise the border and accordingly there cannot be such a thing as “border” related crime in their lexicon….

  • The problem for SF is they are skewered on this issue. If they admit there is border crime, the logical thing to do is support policing to stop it. If they don’t admit to it, the DUP are happy to let them roast away refusing to talk to them.
    However Gerry Kelly did mention that this issue needs adressing now, and it can’t be parked until the dream of a UI becomes a reality.
    SF ought to grasp the nettle and admit that the fall-out from the conflict has created this situation, and even though SF ought not be held directly responsible, they ought to address it, in the same way as McGuiness said ” The war is over, but we need your advice on how to end it” all those years ago. It won’t go away you know.
    Failure of leadership???

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘in the same way as McGuiness said “ The war is over, but we need your advice on how to end it” all those years ago. It won’t go away you know.’

    A nice line, but based on fantasy, Denis Bradley has admitted making it up.

  • piebald

    DK

    “Slab spills his fuel & dumps the toxins. Local livestock & wildlife poisoned, rural people at risk.”

    That is a potentially libelous accusation DK.

    Have you any proof that rivers , livestock and wildlife have been poisoned by Thomas Murphy ?

    I don’t know what the raids are about but there will always be smuggling as long as there is a Border and smuggling has been ongoing in this area since the 20’s.

    A lot of the by-product of this diesel washing is being left in sealed containers ready for collection by the relevant agencies.

    But this diesel washing has gone a step too far for a lot of Republicans and the smugglers can’t use the cover of the troubles anymore.

    piebald

  • Pete Baker

    piebald

    From the BBC report –

    A Garda spokesman said about 120 officers were involved in the search on the southern side of the border.

    A PSNI spokesman said the operation, which began at 0600 GMT on Thursday, was “a major intelligence-led investigation into suspected money laundering, fuel laundering and organised crime”.

    The cross-border operation is being led by officers from the Crime Operations Department’s organised crime branch and involves HM Revenue and Customs, Irish police and other agencies, said the spokesman.

    pete baker

  • DK

    Piebald said “That is a potentially libelous accusation DK.”

    It is if you take the quote out of context. You will see that I only mention slab as he is specifically mentioned in the post I was responding to.

    DK

  • Pat McLarnon
    I recently watched Peter Taylor’s excellent “The Troubles” on DVD, all 6hr 46 mins of it. There’s a scene where John Major says he received a communique the paraphrasing of which was:
    ” The war is over, but we need your advice on how to end it”
    Now are you semantically or pedantically disputing the form of words, or do you accept that a communique of that nature arrived on Major’s desk ?

  • SlugFest

    Spirit-Level,

    You’re right on the wording, but that communique was initially (and purposely) attributed to Martin McGuiness.

    Denis Bradley has since, on many occassions, admitted that he, not McGuiness, wrote the communique. Bradley realized that the only way the note would have any pull with major was is he and his cabinet thought it came from McGuiness.

    [posted by SlugFest]

  • piebald

    DK

    “It is if you take the quote out of context.”

    You wrote it as a statement of fact whether you meant to or not.

    Thanks for the info Pete but you’ll forgive me if i will reserve judgement on the real reasons behind this raid rather than swallow a PSNI statement.

    It will be interesting to see what the three people arrested by the Gardai are charged with if anything.

    piebald

  • piebald

    spirit-level

    “The problem for SF is they are skewered on this issue. If they admit there is border crime, the logical thing to do is support policing to stop it. If they don’t admit to it, the DUP are happy to let them roast away refusing to talk to them.”

    I’m not so sure that the DUP have any grounds to let anyone roast on the issue of Border crime as people from the unionist tradition are also involved in similar schemes.

    Policing with the support of parties or not will be as sucessful in stopping smuggling as they are on the war on drugs.

    What will stop it short of abolishing the Border is the equalization of vat rates on fuel.

    But lets not talk about or implement this solution whilst Sinn Fein can take another (unsuccessful) bashing before the elections.

    piebald

  • piebald, that’s a fair exchange of views, which is no robbery 😉
    I think that the perception though of the Republican Movements involvement in crime is a big problem. Certainly no-one outside the rank and file of SF is impressed with SF’s statements on criminality alleged or otherwise.
    Its tiring to hear the continued jaded comments about securocrats and political policing.
    Of course there is some truth in SF’s position; but if you look at the website of SF there are dozens of pronouncements every day on policies, a veritable plethora, ranging from the mundane to the esoteric, but on the key areas like law and order, justice, policing, defence, the things that matter most to others there’s a dearth of policy and comment, little being debated.
    These issues are covered, hidden, dodged, and presented in awful accusatory language.
    There’s real resentment there, which I do understand, but SF have to shake off the Che Guevea image someday. Why not start?
    The issues I’ve outlined are on the SF agenda, but somewhere near the bottom, I believe they need to move closer to the top.
    In a similiar way that Labour brought the economy to the top in 1997, and later said “we are the party of law and order”; this made them electable, because that’s what people care about.
    SF is lagging behind woefully, and that’s a shame. So reform is needed.
    However if the current leadership won’t grasp the nettle, and start the ball rolling, they should be replaced.
    Is there a party mechanism for this? No.
    Sadly I don’t think McGuiness has the appetite for this radical over-haul. I think Gerry Adams could , but not on his own. So ditch McGuiness is the answer. Is that going to happen? No.
    The roasting will continue.
    You can’t run with the hare, and hunt with the hound?

  • ingrammartin

    Spirit – level.

    A very well argued piece and I would find it difficult to find any fault with your adopted position.

    Martin

  • heck

    if you guys are so put out by smuggling along the border then what is wrong with the obvious solution.

    get rid of the border.

    no border-no smuggling

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘Its tiring to hear the continued jaded comments about securocrats and political policing.’

    It is tiring to hear the jaded comments, especially ill informed ones, from all sides.

  • Reader

    heck: if you guys are so put out by smuggling along the border then what is wrong with the obvious solution.
    get rid of the border.
    no border-no smuggling

    Agreed. Welcome back to the UK guys.
    (Reader)

  • Slab and his 2 brothers and a local woman who does their books for Ace Oils have been arrested.

  • Cheers martin
    Its obvious we are light years ahead !!!
    heck,
    nice try, but its been agreed that consent is required. You have to clean up your act, and through persuasion it won’t be so hard to get rid of this unwanted border 😉
    Well pat, we can sit here yawning and boring each other to death
    for the next 20 yrs or get busy with the broom and mop!
    Lend a hand? Or is the pint glass to heavy?
    (tongue-in-cheek)

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    spirit-level,

    a case of practice what you preach.

  • I am very busy doing the heavy-lifting pat, in fact so much so, I need a pint 😉
    Did you ever meet this slab fella?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘Slab and his 2 brothers and a local woman who does their books for Ace Oils have been arrested.’

    That is simply not true, Slab has not been arrested, irrelevant anyway as those arrested have now been released.

    spirit-level

    ‘Did you ever meet this slab fella?’

    FFS i’m from N Belfast do you not think we have enough trouble as it is. BTW enjoy your pint.

  • fair play to you pat,
    where’s South Armagh’s Chris Gaskin when you need him?
    God’s country or Bandit country?

  • dave

    The 3 people arrested have been released this evening.

    Hardly worth the hassle.

  • heck

    a few months ago I made the remark that the IMC allegations about smuggling amounted to a few guys in crossmaglen buying their cigarettes in Dundalk and taking them home to smoke.

    Look at todays Independent on the raids in south Armagh

    http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/ulster/article350380.ece

    20000 thousand cigarettes sized!!! I’m shocked-just shocked.

    that is 1000 packets or 50 of the small cartons one gets at the duty free. So this is the extent of the IRA’s criminal empire?

    Loyalists are killing people and there is a massive police raid in South Armagh to nab a few smokers!!!

    you could’nt make this stuff up.

  • DK

    “if you guys are so put out by smuggling along the border then what is wrong with the obvious solution. get rid of the border”

    Personally, I thought that the obvious solution was to stop smuggling.

    How come you never hear about it anywhere else along the border. Are they all law-abiding elsewhere, or just better at not getting caught?

  • abucs

    400 security personel. That’s 50 cigarettes per man. Good work lads !!

  • DK

    Newsletter ups it to 30,000 ciggies. They also mention £200,000 and 8,000 litres of fuel, plus assorted vehicles, guns and computers siezed (normal farm things by the sound of it).

    All in all, it sounds like either they have got the wrong man OR they got the right man but he had moved most of his stuff out in time.

    It’s made the front page of a few tabloids though.

    DK

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The poor old media are once again at sixes and sevens surrounding this story. When it first broke it was in connection with the £30 property empire in Manchester that was discovered before Xmas. Although the media dropped this line throughout the day a number of tabloids including the IT (shame) kept running with it.

    A re-reading of the original Manchester raids will find that as that story unfolded at the time there was a considerable backtrack on that figure even then. It ended up relating to two properties, hardly an empire.

    So back to yesterday and the breathless quotes of ‘this is as big as it gets’. Well as quoted earlier what has been discovered hardly merits the headlines. The only common them to these stories are the reporters, he titles involved and their willingness to print any old crap.

    A case in point is the untrue banner headline of the Mirror from Monday where, in a shameless piece of opportunism, it was an IRA hitman who killed Donna Cleary in Dublin. All lies of course, but the bullet riddled corpse was merely an addendum to a particularly cynical piece of journalism.

  • The unprecedented raid was a ‘fishing trip’ of monumental proportions to keep the public in the dark about what is going on, and may be on offer while hoping to find some unexpected treasure – like a log of Murphy’s calls with former Garda Det. Sergeant Eoin Corrigan.

    And even if the securocrats are going to have to fit up ‘Slab’as the crucial link, they would have to raid his property to justify any claim that they had ‘found’ something.

    In sum, it is a disgraceful operation where the claims about massive illegal financial operations were so irrelevant that the ARA didn’t even take part in the operation.

    It is psy-op from soup to nuts!

  • DK

    Trowbridge said: “In sum, it is a disgraceful operation where the claims about massive illegal financial operations were so irrelevant that the ARA didn’t even take part in the operation.”

    Police, customs and excise, and officials from the Criminal Assets Bureau in Dublin were all involved in the operation, backed up by soldiers.

    Time for the conspiracy theories to maybe take a day off. They have also recovered a fuel washing equipment and a loory with a false tank in it.

    DK

  • piebald

    Spirit Level

    some good points in your 5.04 post which I believe are being addressed by the party but its back to the “oil tanker turning circle ; ) ” analogy isn’t it ?

    i can see evidence that those issues you cite are being debated even though i am not a member

    what make you say McGuinness is the problem ?

    “I think that the perception though of the Republican Movements involvement in crime is a big problem”

    I think the medias involvement in black propaganda is a bigger problem and yet the vote keeps rising ?

    i think i’ll heed Gerry’s “call to arms” and join up in ’06

    the worst that could happen would be to screw up Ingrams informer ratio ; )

    piebald

  • Over sixty comments of republican outrage and unionist fury. Oh the passion, oh the rage.

    This is political theater, Little Egypt is dancing the dance of the Seven Veils to keep your rube eyes on the shill while the wire artist picks your pockets.

    First a parable from the history of Rock n’ Roll. When Alan Freed was indicted for payola the IRS immediately froze his assets and grabbed his house.–the very day of the indictment. That’s how government lands on a disc jockey.

    Contrast the case in which the Feds hammered a flea, hardly an obvious threat to the sanctity of the Republic, with the Murphy case. The goons that govern you have given Murphy FIVE MONTHS to plan his asset liquidation and getaway.

    Connect the dots, Sluggiepoos, the fix is in. It always was.

  • Shame on me. I had a Slugger moment and pasted to an old thread.

  • JG

    It is interesting how anyone could have tipped off anyone on Breen and Buchanan as they did not go the route that they said they would meaning that their army escort was not around to protect them.