Saoradh HQ was raided in coordinated Operation Arbacia

The PSNI conducted a raid of the headquarters of Saoradh in Chamberlain Street yesterday under Operation Arbacia.
A PSNI land rover at Junior McDaid House today.A PSNI land rover at Junior McDaid House today.
A PSNI land rover at Junior McDaid House today.

The party’s offices in Belfast, Newry and Dungannon were also targeted in what the police said was a coordinated operation.

PSNI Crime Operations Assistant Chief Constable Barbara Gray said: “Detectives from PSNI Investigation Unit have today [Thursday] searched properties in Belfast, Dungannon, Newry and Derry/Londonderry in connection with an ongoing investigation into the activities of the New IRA.

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“The properties were searched under TACT legislation [Terrorism Act 2000] as part of Operation Arbacia, a community safety operation.”

A number of Land Rovers, liveried patrol cars and unmarked vehicles were used in the operation yesterday lunchtime. The search followed what Saoradh had earlier branded the ‘MI5-led’ arrest of several party members on Tuesday.

A spokesperson said: “Saoradh is not a proscribed organisation, we have as our means political agitation, mobilisation and grassroots activism. Since our formation in 2016 we have grown and we continue to grow.”

On Tuesday the PSNI arrested seven men and two women, aged 26 to 50, in connection with what they said was an ongoing probe into the activities of the New IRA.

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“The operation was supported by An Garda Síochána who carried out six searches at locations in Dublin, Laois, Cork and Kerry,” said ACC Gray.

The PSNI applied for and was granted an extra 72 hours to question the individuals from 5 a.m. yesterday.

Saoradh has consistently denied links to the ‘IRA.’

Following the arrests it claimed: “What the state does today on Irish Republicans it will not hesitate to use tomorrow on the rest of society. You may not share our opinion, you may be diametrically opposed to it, as is your right, but you must understand that the denial of our rights today is the denial of your rights tomorrow.”

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