Firearms and cash seized in major gardaí operation
Operation involved more than 100 armed officers in Dublin, Cork, Louth and Kildare
Firearms, money and computers were seized in a series of raids by gardaí investigating organised crime.
Gardaí investigating links between dissident Republicans and business interests in the Republic have conducted raids across 30 sites.
The Garda activity, involving more than 100 armed and uniformed officers, unfolded in counties Dublin, Cork, Louth and Kildare.
In the biggest policing operation of the year against suspected organised crime and dissidents, a number of suspects’ homes were searched from before first light.
Accountants’ and solicitors’ offices have also been raided as well as a well-known hotel and storage facility.
Gardaí seized a large amount of documents, laptop computers and smaller devices as well as mobile phones.
They will all be examined for information that might shed light on any money laundering, cash transfers and the purchase of property at home and abroad. A quantity of cash was seized.
A handgun and shotgun were also found along with antique furniture and paintings.
All of the items seized are being examined and the provenance of the paintings and antiques was being checked.
A large number of the Garda’s specialist units were involved in the operation, including the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Organised Crime Unit, Criminal Assets Bureau, Garda National Drugs Unit and Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation backed by local Garda members.
The search teams were supported by the Garda Dog Unit, the armed Emergency Response Unit and the Garda helicopter.
Gardaí have had a number of the key suspects under surveillance since last year and the intelligence gathered during that monitoring helped drive the raids.
Gardaí believe a number of figures from the business world have grown close to dissident Republicans in the Republic who are feuding with crime gangs and a faction from the Travelling community.
The dissident Republicans linked to the businessmen are the chief suspects for the shooting dead of Andy Connors.
The 45-year-old father-of-six was fatally wounded at his home at Old Pound, Boherboy, Saggart, south Dublin, last August.
He had been involved in a fight with a prominent dissident republican earlier in the year and had also clashed with a Dublin businessman with strong links to organised crime, and had been subjected to extortion demands by the Real IRA.
Gardaí are fearful some of the dead man’s associates are intent on exacting revenge for his killing and may target the dissidents and the business figures they are close to.