Charges brought in Laois counterfeiting operation

It’s taken a while, but four men have finally been charged in connection with the sophisticated counterfeiting operation and underground bunker uncovered in a joint operation by Europol and gardaí in Ballybrophy, Borris-in-Ossory, County Laois, in May last year.  From the Irish Times report

A former leading member of the Provisional IRA and prison escaper was one of four men who appeared at the Special Criminal Court yesterday, charged with possessing equipment to make counterfeit money.

Anthony Sloan was arrested last year and is facing a charge of IRA membership. He and three other men were yesterday remanded by the non-jury court until October.

The four are Mr Sloan (57), Ard na Mara, Dundalk, Co Louth, Liam Delaney (41), Kevin Flanagan (42), Borris- in-Ossory, Co Laois, and Andrew Poole (43), Portlaoise, Co Laois.

Sloan had been released on bail on IRA membership charges in November 2010.

From the archived Europol press release in June 2010

In a joint operation, Europol and the Garda Police have arrested four men as part of a major investigation into one of the most sophisticated money counterfeiting set-ups uncovered in Europe to date.

At the site near Borris–in–Ossory in the Irish midlands, criminals had established an underground illicit print shop facility contained in two 40–foot containers serviced with electricity, heating and running water. A large amount of security printing paper, inks and holograms were seized, as well as other materials used in the counterfeit printing process, including three industrial printers.

The operation, led by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation and supported by the Emergency Response Unit, other national support units and local Garda from Abbeyleix, was initiated following analysis of increased activity in counterfeiting across Europe. Yesterday’s arrests were the culmination of an extensive operation that has been ongoing for a number of months and has involved information sharing across a number of international law enforcement agencies including Europol.

As yesterday’s Irish Examiner report reminds us

Anthony Sloan was charged last November with membership of an illegal organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA on October 31 last year.

He was one of eight Provisional IRA prisoners who escaped from Crumlin Road prison in Belfast in 1981.

The day after the escape Sloan was convicted of possession of an M60 machine gun and jailed for 20 years in his absence.

He fled to the Republic where he was later recaptured by gardaí and jailed for eight years.

Sloan successfully challenged attempts to extradite him to the North and settled in the Republic.

In December 2000, he and the seven other members of the so-called ‘M60 Gang’ were given a royal pardon.

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  • ranger1640

    Why are Sinn Fein not on all media outlets gurning that the Garda should be arresting more Loyalist counterfeiters, and should stop arresting republicans criminals???

    Sorry I forgot republicans can’t be criminals, it’s allegedly not consistent with being a republican. Mind blowingly crass!!!

    We have all heard of islamic law (sharia law), well the above is an example of Sinn Fein law!!!!

  • grandimarkey

    Ranger1640:
    “Why are Sinn Fein not on all media outlets gurning that the Garda should be arresting more Loyalist counterfeiters, and should stop arresting republicans criminals???”

    Perhaps the answer to your question lies in this section of Pete’s post, itself taken from the Irish Examiner:
    “Anthony Sloan was charged last November with membership of an illegal organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hÉireann

    As Mr. Sloan was convicted of being a member of a dissident organisation in November 2010, it is probably safe to deduce that Sinn Fein would not be supporting a former Provisional who is now challenging their political strategy by being a member of a rival “Republican” organisation.

    Does this go some way to answering your query, Ranger1640?

  • USA

    Ranger1640,

    If you have nothing to contribute to the post then say nothing.

    On topic, I would say this is a major blow to the financing of ONhE.

  • Carrickmoreman

    grandi: The language you site is the standard “membership” charge language for any IRA/Republican Paramilitary, I think.

  • ranger1640

    Wee Marty McGuinness, was all over the media this week because the PSNI, arrested several republicans. The police were investigating the alleged dissident republican murder of PSNI officer Ronan Kerr.

    PSNI Officer Ronan Kerr was allegedly murdered by dissidents or was he??? Strange that McGuinness would come the defence of alleged dissidents????

    “Northern Ireland’s Sinn Féin deputy first minister defends suspect, saying arrest after killing was for publicity purposes”.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jul/28/ronan-kerr-martin-mcguiness-arrest

    Gerry Kelly was all over the media this week accusing the PSNI of bias. There crime, arresting those responsible for rioting on the Crumlin road. Kelly claimed that the rioting on the Crumlin road was caused by a dissident residents group.

    “However GARC are refusing to meet with him, with spokesman Dee Fennell saying he must take back statements he made last year saying GARC “encouraged people to come to Ardoyne and riot” after the four nights of intense violence.

    Gerry Kelly refutes this claim, saying last year he simply said that GARC are an unelected group and that by encouraging outsiders to come to Ardoyne to take part in their sit down protest they helped fuel violence, not that they asked people to riot”.

    http://www.belfastmedia.com/news_article.php?ID=5296

    My comments are relevant Sinn Fein, appear to be changing their emphasis on alleged dissident republican arrests???

    Are the natives revolting, and is there a possible drop in votes, thus the rush to defend them????

  • lamhdearg

    Oglaigh na hÉireann, is the name that the Eire authorities use when referring to all ira groups( i think).And in that they are right. it matters little what letter the ira put before “ira” whether it be P, R, C, they are still the ira. as for the post, i dont like that people charged with offences are named, as if found not guilty (yes even in this case) their name will forever be linked with something they did not do.

  • lamhdearg

    sorry, for ” did not do” please read “may not have done”

  • Munsterview

    USA : “……On topic, I would say this is a major blow to the financing of ONhE……”

    Maybe so and personal hard luck for those arrested. However all may not be entirely lost : associates of the arrested people concerned, going on past precedent, may be well on their way to becoming future Cabinet Ministers, Internationally acclaimed Statesmen even !

    No doubt certain people are hoping that Old Securicats will not start playing silly buggers in the this ‘silly season’ and start mischief making with leaks leaks from old C 3 Garda Intel files to the media. Could yet be interesting, very interesting indeed !

    Still every cloud has a silver line as the saying goes, it must be very convenient for the Minister For Justice to have such expertise on a complex operation close to hand. Of course all should carefully note that the fact that these charges should be brought just now is but the culmination of a process and is in no way what so ever connected with Sean Garlands coming Superior Courts Appeal against extradition on US counterfeiting charges.

    Scotland Yard or the London Met. may get up to such Machiavellian sculduggery but surely not our Gallant Boys In Blue up in ‘The Park’ ?

  • Harry Flashman

    “Oglaigh na hÉireann, is the name that the Eire authorities use when referring to all ira groups”

    Correctly so as “Oglaigh na hÉireann” is the name they all call themselves.

    “Provisional”, “Continuity”, “Official”, “Real” or “Whatever yer havin’ yersel” (indeed the name “IRA”) are creations of the media and have never been in the titles used by these organisations all of whom claim to be the one true inheritors of the mantle of the Irish Volunteers or to use the proper Irish version ‘Oglaigh na hÉireann’.

    I’m not sure if Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams are still members of Oglaigh na hÉireann, but they both were senior members in the past.

  • Óglaigh na hÉireann – the legal version. Gerry Adams tells us he was never a member of one of the alphabet-soup of illegal ones.