Explosive devices 'linked to dissident republicanism' found in Larne

Police discover bomb-making materials and ammunition during series of searches

psni, larne

Army bomb experts at Carnfunnock Country Park in Larne in March | File photo: PA Images

Police in Northern Ireland have discovered what they call "a significant amount of terrorist material" believed to be linked to dissident republican activity.

Explosive devices, component parts for explosives, chemicals used for bomb making, ammunition and a firearm were found in 12 separate locations in Larne. 

The searches came as part of a joint PSNI-Met Police operation that has been ongoing in the Antrim area since August 24th.

Two earlier arms discoveries were made in Carnfunnock Park and Capanagh Forest in Larne as part of the same operation.

The two finds have been connected to the arrest of a Royal Marine in Somerset last month.

Ciaran Maxwell appeared in court earlier this week charged with a number of offences linked to those discoveries in May and March.

The 30-year-old, who is originally from Larne, denies the charges.

Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr thanked the Larne community for its patience while searches were ongoing.

"I am aware of the disruption this has caused to local residents and am extremely grateful for their co-operation and understanding," he said.

"However, as I am sure the people living in Larne will understand, we will take no chances where their safety is concerned and, as a result of the significant terrorist material recovered, I am confident that the area, and Northern Ireland in general, is safer as a result."

Local DUP MLA Gordon Lyons congratulated police for finding materials that "would have caused a catastrophic loss of life".