IRA terror suspect arrested in Dublin: Second Brixton prison fugitive is held

Click to follow
IRISH POLICE arrested Pearse McAuley, a suspected IRA terrorist, in Dublin yesterday, the second major success against the IRA in a week.

Mr McAuley, 29, from Strabane, Co Tyrone in Northern Ireland, was detained at Connolly railway station in the city centre at lunchtime. He has been on the run since escaping from Brixton jail, south London, in 1991.

His fellow fugitive, Nessan Quinlivan, was arrested by Irish detectives last Sunday after a raid on a Co Tipperary farmhouse and appeared before Dublin's anti-terrorist Special Criminal Court on firearms charges.

The Garda said Mr McAuley was held after getting off a DART suburban train. Police said he had a handgun when arrested by special branch officers from the Garda's Emergency Response Unit.

He was taken to Bridewell police station, then held at a nearby station under Ireland's anti-terrorist Offences Against the State Act for questioning about the possession of a firearm and other offences.

Both men are wanted by Scotland Yard for questioning about a break- out from Brixton while on remand. They are believed to have used a gun hidden in a pair of training shoes that had been sent from Ireland. During the incident, prison officers were shot at in the jail and a civilian outside was wounded.

The men were awaiting trial charged with plotting to kill Sir Charles Tidbury, a former Whitbread brewery chairman, and causing explosions in Britain. A Scotland Yard spokesman said that the Irish police had notified them of the arrest.

Republican sources in Dublin suggested yesterday that Mr McAuley was carrying a gun to ensure he would face charges in the Irish Republic rather than extradition to Britain. He can be held for 48 hours before being charged.

Mr McAuley is being questioned about the hijacking of a police car at Killaloe, Co Clare, in the republic, in September 1989. Nessan Quinlivan, remanded to reappear in court this month, is being questioned about the same offence.

Irish legal sources indicated that charges in the republic against both men will take precedence. Charges against Mr Quinlivan, if proven, carry jail terms of 10 years or more.