Real IRA suspect was dressed as postman to carry out hit in estate
A SUSPECTED terrorist disguised himself as a postman as he and an accomplice prepared for a "hit" in a busy housing estate.
But the murder plot was foiled after heavily armed gardai intercepted their stolen van and seized a loaded handgun.
As a result of an intelligence led operation, officers from the emergency response unit swooped on the van at Glenshane Lawn in Tallaght, south county Dublin, shortly after 9am yesterday.
They forced the vehicle to a halt and arrested the two suspects, one of whom was wearing a false beard and a wig.
Both are suspected members of the Dublin faction of the Real IRA, formerly led by Alan Ryan, who was shot dead on the northside of the city in September 2012.
One man, in his 30s and from Walkinstown, is well known to gardai. He is believed to have been arrested previously during a protest by dissident republicans in the centre of Dublin during the visit of Queen Elizabeth.
The second suspect is aged 22 and from Tallaght.
During a search of the van, which had been stolen in Dublin last month, gardai recovered a loaded handgun and eight bullets.
The gun was taken away for forensic examination by members of the garda technical bureau at their Phoenix Park headquarters.
Gardai are satisfied that the men were on their way to carry out a shooting when they were intercepted.
The arrests followed an operation involving the Special Branch and national surveillance unit, under the control of the force's crime and security section at garda headquarters, and local Tallaght gardai.
The suspects were being questioned last night at Tallaght garda station under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act and can be held without charge for up to three days.
The operation is part of an ongoing crackdown on the activities of dissident republicans and follows the garda interception 12 days ago of a fully primed bomb as it was about to be transported across the Border for a terrorist attack.
The bomb was seized after members of the emergency response unit targeted a van that had been parked in a churchyard at Kilcurry, Co Louth.
Almost three weeks ago gardai found a car, containing a beer keg packed with 66lbs of homemade explosive, in the grounds of a west Dublin hotel after an anonymous telephone call.