A man aged in his 40s, was arrested on Thursday (yesterday) in the South over the Wattlebridge security alert and is being questioned by officers from the Garda Special Detective Unit under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State.
“Gardai carried out a joint search operation with PSNI, Thursday January 28, in Cavan and arrested one man in relation to the operation.
“He is currently detained under Section 30, Offence Against the State Act, 1939 in Cavan Garda Station.”
The village of Newtownbutler came to a standstill last week after PSNI began a search operation for a suspicious device in the Wattlebridge area.
Motorists were asked to use alternative routes after PSNI and Gardai closed the Wattlebridge Road and Cavan Road, in a cross border investigation.
A security alert was received on 13 January, shortly before republican paramilitaries claimed they had fired a high powered Dragunon sniper rifle at a Police helicopter, at the Wattlebridge Road.
However, Chief Superintendent Andy Freeburn strenuously denied the claims saying, “A fixed wing aircraft was deployed to conduct searches in the area but following extensive enquiries we have established that a private helicopter was travelling through the area.”
The Chief Superintendent went on to say, “Those involved have shown their absolute disregard for the lives of ordinary people.
“The fact that this alleged attack was intended for police, makes it no less heinous.”
Newtownbutler councillor, Thomas O’Reilly, condemned the attack, deeming it “unwelcome” and “unnecessary” during such uncertain times.
“Nobody wants to see it,” explained Cllr O’Reilly. “We are living through very difficult and uncertain times for a lot of people health wise, economic wise, and for those in despair over where the next job is coming from.
“With all of these worries for people, there is no place for such activities or comments. It certainly does nothing to help anybody in this local area and nothing to help communities going forward into 2021.”
The security operation ended on 24 January after a device along with live ammunition was found at a bus shelter and declared a hoax by police.
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition