British Intelligence Agency MI5 has confirmed its investigating the Continuity IRA in the Fermanagh Border area in the wake of a bomb attack near Wattlebridge last year.

A Sunday Independent investigation into the ongoing threat posed by dissident groups like the New IRA and the CIRA can also reveal the British intelligence agency, MI5, is investigating several dissident republicans in the south of the country, whom it believes are assisting individuals in the North in planning or carrying out terror attacks.

MI5 spy

Police forces on both sides of the Border have been working with MI5 to dismantle the threat posed by the violent republican groups. It has also come to light that alleged MI5 spy, Dennis McFadden infiltrated the top levels of leadership of the New IRA which led to the arrest of eight men and two women in Northern Ireland who are accused of offences including trying to obtain Semtex explosives and directing terrorism.

Senior officers from MI5 and PSNI said while the New IRA and CIRA does not have widespread infrastructures, these groups do pose a significant threat to lives with access to guns and explosive devices.

“Both CIRA and New IRA have virtually no capacity for critical reflection, no internal critique. They plunge on a pre-determined path, believing a kill is a kill,” said the PSNI officer.

The officers explained the decades-long partnership with the Garda’s crime and security branch is helping to shine a light on those who hope to cause death and destruction.

“We are investigating several people in the south who might assist in carrying out terrorist attacks in the North,” said the MI5 officer.

Part of the cross-Border investigation into the New IRA and CIRA includes collating data, monitoring social media and the use of exploitation and audio devices.

Gardaí has been “intrinsically involved” in helping the PSNI and MI5 on operations, with the force itself saying it is working closely with its colleagues in the North and other security agencies in “disrupting and dismantling terrorist organisations”.


With Brexit edging ever closer and the fear of a return to widesrepad violence along the border, MI5 and the PSNI are confident they can destabilise the terror groups in the coming month.

They add that while Brexit could be used as an argument for a Unite Ireland, it is not the “energising factor” dissidents.

“They were like this before Brexit was even heard of, so we will continue to monitor them on both sides of the Border,” said the PSNI officer.