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Monday, May 4, 1998 Published at 08:19 GMT 09:19 UK

Shot robber 'was republican paramilitary'
image: [ Garda officers sealed off the scene ]
Garda officers sealed off the scene

A man shot dead in a gun-battle between police and armed robbers has been identified as a member of a republican breakaway faction.

An unnamed group used a recognised codeword to tell The Irish Times that Ronan McLoughlin, 28, from Ballymun, Dublin, was one of its volunteers.

The paramilitary organisation had broken away from the Irish Republican Army because of the involvement of its political wing, Sinn Fein, in the peace process.

Five other 'members' arrested

BBC' correspondent Gary Duffy: Gang was "heavily armed" (2'15")
Five others were arrested after the shoot-out between Armed Garda and the gang at a road block 25 miles south of Dublin on Friday night.

The attempted raid targeted a Securicor van transporting cash from Ashford, County Wicklow, to Dublin.

The five arrested men, held under Irish anti-terrorist legislation, are members of a hardline republican movement opposed to the Northern Ireland peace treaty, police said.

The dead man was described as in his 20s and from Dublin, they added.

Holiday traffic

Detectives said the arrests followed a surveillance operation but refused to name the breakaway group they suspect of planning the robbery.

Police recovered a rocket launcher, an assault rifle and two handguns after the shoot-out on the main road to Rosslare, which was full of holiday traffic.

The Securicor van was one of the few transporting money on Friday. Most cash shipments were made on Thursday due to industrial action by junior Garda officers.

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