IRA terrorists were based in the Algarve

6 Nov 2009
Hugo Franco

Google Translation (with apologies and request for more accurate translation. Original Article HERE)

Two operational Irish kept explosives in a restaurant in Alvor are on trial for murder in Belfast.

Panda Grill does not serve pints of Guinness or transmit games between Liverpool and Arsenal in the plasma display. Is a restaurant Algarve typical of bifanas and grilled fish, away from noisy pubs frequented by foreigners in the center of Alvor.

It was at that location that Paul Anthony McCaugherty , 43, and Michael Gregory, 41, two citizens of Northern Ireland, met to negotiate the purchase and sale of weapons between 2005 and 2006.

This week is being tried in Belfast, suspected of belonging to the Real IRA, a dissident faction of the Republican army (IRA).

According to the indictment, that unsuspected establishment Serbia basic operational organization, which operated throughout Europe. The Irish trafficked an arsenal capable of destroying helicopters and armored cars, as rockets, grenades and detonators.  (Please note the terrible translation here ...)

Paul Anthony, number two of the paramilitary group, is also suspected of involvement in the killing, in cold blood, of two British soldiers in March, a military base in Northern Ireland.

Visit the PJ

The current tenant of the restaurant is a Portuguese and says he has the two suspects. But a few months ago he was visited by researchers from the Judicial Police, Lisbon. "They told me that Interpol wanted me to testify in a trial to Belfast. Not again contacted me," said Mr Marques.

He said the establishment was purchased seven years ago by four Irish.

"I only know a couple that comes with some frequency to Portugal. A few months returned to Northern Ireland".   Names and phone numbers do not reveal. By moving away with a spout in hand, she poured out: "The police advised me that the restaurant should close soon, for legal problems. Go to auction."

Three years ago, Paul and Michael have done a deal in Alvor, which included a property, receiving € 46 thousand, money used to finance terrorist activities. And not again be seen in the Algarve.

The Express tried to trace the Irish, with the finance and real estate sites, without success.

They were in the shade, not mixing with the Irish community, which meets at night in the Irish Inn, Dicey Reiley's or Allan's Bar.  Few knew the faces that appeared in the press in Belfast: "I saw one of them a drink at Happy Nights, years ago. He did not speak with anybody, "says one resident.

The newspapers "Irish Times" and "Belfast Telegraph" ensure that the two men stored in Portugal plastic explosive Semtex and C4 (big sellers among the terrorists) of 23 May 2005 to June 20, 2006.

The purchase of war material would be made in countries of Eastern Europe, and traded in Belgium, Netherlands and France.

The crime did not escape the authorities in Northern Ireland, who have asked for help to European counterparts.  

Paul and Michael have been under close watch, in our territory but the Irish police will not reveal details of the operation: "Only when the case is finished," says the Express spokesman, Jon O'Rourke.

Faceless witnesses

The trial of Paul Anthony, Michael Gregory and a third man, Desmond Kearns, is being closely followed in Northern Ireland. This weeks episode had a theatrical 35 agents of MI5 (the British secret) gave his testimony masked to protect their identity.

Over the three operations of the Real IRA - held in March, after the murder of two soldiers - who fall into the charges of murder, conspiracy, possession of firearms and explosives and use of thousands of dollars in illegal purchase of weapons.

The process should drag on until next year due to the high number of dossiers submitted by the defense and hundreds of hours of tapes of conversations recorded by police.

In the Algarve fishing village, the locals react with astonishment when they saw the role of Paul Anthony and Michael Gregory in the terrorist plot. "For weeks, a tourist was murdered Irish. What will follow?" (Blogger note: I believe this is in reference to the murder of Paul Houston, from Greencastle, Co. Donegal who was killed in Alvor on Sept. 6, 2009)

The crimes of the new republican army


Paul Anthony McCaugherty  and Declan Dermot Gregory, also known as Michael Gregory are two of the new faces of the newly formed New Irish Republican Army (NIRA), also known as the Real IRA.

This is a radical terrorist group which split from the Provisional IRA in 1997. It is one of the last two armed movements that continue to act violently against British interests in Northern Ireland. As with many radical organizations, the Real IRA is divided into small cells. The aim is to avoid major damage in motion when a detainee is operational.

Bombings, assassinations, kidnappings and robberies have been common since 1997. The targets include civilians, the British security forces and police in Northern Ireland.

The bloodiest attack took place on 15 August 1998 in Omagh, in Northern Ireland, killing 29 people and wounding 220.

Since October 1999, the Real IRA perpetrated more than 80 attacks. The first setback came in 2003 when the then leader of the Michael McKevitt was sentenced to twenty years in prison. But the attacks did not cease.

On 7 March this year, two British soldiers were killed and two wounded in a military base in County Antrim in Northern Ireland. Two civilians were also in danger of life.

Twelve years after its formation, the group has hundreds of operational action in Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, England and Europe. It also has thousands of supporters who disagree with the peace process carried out in Northern Ireland.

46 thousand euros. Profit of two Irishmen with the business of a property in Alvor.

20 AK47 machine guns, 100 pounds of Semtex explosives, 20 rocket RPG22 and 50 detonators were in possession of Paul Anthony McCaugherty

Text published in the Express, 31 October 2009

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