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Thursday, 18 November, 1999, 17:40 GMT
New crackdown on dissidents
Gardai (Irish police) to clamp down on republican dissidents

Fresh anti-terrorist measures to be adopted by the Irish government mean that dissident paramilitaries face the seizure of assets as well as imprisonment.

Details of the new anti-terrorist provisions were spelled out by the Republic of Ireland Minister for Justice, John O'Donoghue, on Thursday.

Targeted groups include the Real IRA, elements within the Irish National Liberation Army and the Continuity IRA, the only terrorist faction not to have declared a ceasefire after the Omagh bomb in August last year, when 29 people died and more than 200 were injured.

Mr O'Donoghue, speaking at a Dublin conference, said those believing they could subjugate the will of the vast majority of the Irish people "should think again."

He pointedly underscored a section of the amended legislation extending to the confiscation of farms where terrorists were found to have stored their arsenals.

The minister declared: "We intend to implement the legislation that was enacted after Omagh.

"Anyone who thinks they can have an arms dump on their land and get away with just a term of imprisonment is badly mistaken.

"We will go after their assets as well. We are very serious about this."

New terror campaign planned

In recent weeks, the Irish police have made dozens of arrests, resulting in a number of suspects being charged in Dublin's anti-terrorist Special Criminal Court.

Arms and ammunition as well as other equipment and potentially incriminating documents have also been seized by Gardai.

The ongoing police activity follows reports that dissident republicans opposed to the strategy being adopted by Sinn Fein and the IRA were planning a new terror campaign aimed at wrecking the entire Northern Ireland peace process.

The new anti-terror campaign follows the discovery on Thursday of nearly 500 rounds of ammunition by Gardai. The haul was hidden in a roadside dump near Letterkenny, Co Donegal

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