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Cash and 'drugs' seized in East Belfast UVF investigation

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Suspected drugs and about ?5,000 in cash have been seized by police investigating criminal activities linked to the East Belfast UVF.

Police said the money and suspected class A and C drugs were found following a Paramilitary Crime Task Force search in east Belfast on Friday evening.

Det Insp Hamilton said the operation "highlights the continuing hypocrisy of those who claim to be protecting the community, while in fact they are actually causing it harm".

He also appealed for any information on the supply of illegal drugs or organised crime.

Republic of Ireland introduces stronger measures

Leo Varadkar announced a raft of new measures to slow the spread of coronavirus.

He said: "From midnight tonight, everyone must stay at home, other than to travel to and from work and only when work is an essential service, to shop for food or collect a meal, to collect health or medical products, to take brief exercise as long as you adhere to physical distancing. All public gatherings are prohibited."

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This includes social family visits.

“We are not prisoners of fate. We can influence what’s going to happen next,” Mr Varadkar said.

Everyone must stay at home except:

  • Essential workers travelling to and from work
  • Shopping for food
  • Attending medical appointments
  • Caring for children and elderly
  • Brief exercise within two kilometres of home
  • For "vital" family reasons

'It is not going to get any easier'

Irish Minister for Health Simon Harris says the public must "accept these temporary but difficult restrictions."

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"It is not going to get any easier in the days ahead, but the further measures are needed in order to give ourselves the best chance of reducing the spread of the virus and save lives."

He says the actions of every individual "can make all the difference."

"We must ask ourselves constantly can we do more."

Taoiseach: Exercise 'within 2kms of home'

People in the Republic of Ireland can leave home for brief periods of exercise, but cannot travel more than 2kms to do so, Mr Varadkar said.

He also confirmed all non-emergency surgery is to be postponed, and that shielding or cocooning will be introduced for all those over 70 or vulnerable.

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"Freedom was hard won in our country, and it jars with us to limit liberty, even temporarily," he said.

But the taoiseach said he was "appealing to every man woman and child to make these sacrifices, not out of self-interest, but out of love for each other".

He added: "The whole world is suffering during this pandemic and Ireland is no different. What happens next is up to each and every one of us."

Further Covid-19 restrictions to public life in Ireland

Further restrictions have been announced to public life in the Republic of Ireland.

Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar said "now is the time for further action".

He said from midnight on Friday, for a two week period until Easter Sunday, everyone must stay at home unless their work was essential or they were buying food.

Twenty two people with coronavirus have died in the country.

Leo Varadkar
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