Recent PSNI raids at addresses on the Lower Ormeau prove dissident republicans are active in the south of the city, a senior Ulster Unionist has claimed.
Former South Belfast MLA Esmond Birine was speaking after detectives and forensic teams searched a home on River Terrace on Tuesday.
The raids were part of the investigation into the weekend Real IRA murder of West Belfast father of four Danny McGurk. A man, believed to be from the Lower Ormeau, was arrested and questioned about the killing.
Esmond Birnie described the news as “worrying” citing previous arms finds and bomb attempts as evidence of a growing threat.
“There is real evidence of a dissident republican problem in South Belfast,” he said. “They have certainly penetrated this part of town. The public needs to be wary, especially when you consider past incidents.”
Dissident republican activity in South Belfast has seen a marked increase over recent months. In June files containing the names, addresses and movements of members of the District Policing Partnership were discovered in a house on the Ormeau Road.
In March the Continuity IRA attached a bomb to a fence surrounding the Territorial Army base on Haypark Avenue. The device was defused but not before Annadale residents were evacuated from their homes.
The same month the Real IRA brought traffic to a standstill when they left a bomb outside the Laganside court complex.
And in February a South Belfast RIRA source warned the group were recruiting among the impressionable Holyland student population.