Arrests on Terror Charges in Ireland Ahead of Prince Charles Visit

Police swooped in on 20 different locations.

Garda Police declined to confirm to ABC News a potential link between the arrests and the royal visit. But security is an issue of concern for the couple who will be visiting the town of Mullaghmore, where Charles's great-uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten was killed in 1979 by the IRA.

Prince Charles and Camilla are visiting Ireland from May 19 to 21, and Northern Ireland after that. Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Charles Flanagan said their visit “further cements the reconciliation work of recent decades, to which Prince Charles has made a strong contribution," according to British news agency Press Association.

Wednesday’s arrests follow a series a previous incidents involving republican dissidents who, among other claims, favor an independent Ireland. In Belfast, Northern Ireland, police discovered a bomb earlier this month, believed to be targeting officers, and the former IRA commander Gerard “Jock” Davison was shot dead on May 5.

Two individuals linked to another Irish republican dissent group (Continuity IRA) were also arrested on Wednesday after police found a pistol and two pipe bombs in their car.

While Irish republican groups such as the New IRA, Continuity IRA and Óglaigh na hÉireann oppose the British royal family, the queen’s historic visit to Ireland in 2011 was a success and security in Northern Ireland has recently improved.