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5 Real IRA members jaile in Wicklow heist try

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Andrew Bushe

DUBLIN — Five Dublin-based members of a Real IRA gang were jailed recently by the Special Criminal Court for the attempted armed robbery of a cash van in County Wicklow in May when Gardai shot dead one of the raiders.

Ronan McLoughlin, 28, from Ballymun, Dublin, was killed when detectives opened fire after they confronted the gang during the first “blue flu” day of industrial action by the Gardai.

The Real IRA later claimed McLoughlin as one of their members and leading republican dissidents attended his funeral.

Three of the men Pascal Burke, of Marrowbone Lane, Stephen Carney of Dolphin House and Danny McAllister of Ballybrack, received eight years. The other two, Saoirse Breathnach of Ballybrack and Phillip Forsythe of Sallynoggin, were jailed for seven years.

All had pleaded guilty to assault and possession of guns and ammunition with intent to rob the cash van containing over _250,000 near Ashford, Co. Wicklow.

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The raid occurred three weeks after the Good Friday peace agreement had been signed in Belfast. The court heard that the gang was armed with an assault rifle, pump-action shotgun, revolver and imitation rocket launcher.

One of the gang leveled a gun at gardai but none of the raiders fired their weapons during the incident.

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