Gun seized in Kildare by gardaí investigating rural crime

Man in his 20 arrested in Brownstown carrying concealed weapon

A handgun recovered by gardaí in Co Kildare. Photograph: Garda Press Office

A handgun recovered by gardaí in Co Kildare. Photograph: Garda Press Office

 

A man has been arrested after being found carrying a concealed weapon in Co Kildare.

The man in his 20s was stopped by gardaí in Brownstown on Tuesday as part of Operation Thor. A handgun was found on his person.

The man is being detained at Kildare Garda station under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984,

Operation Thor was set up in late 2015 to target gangs after a number of violent burglaries on isolated homes and businesses in which high-powered vehicles were used to escape along the State’s motorways.

The latest official Garda figures, quoted by Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan when questioned about the fight against rural crime, state that 10,024 arrests were made under the operation between November 2nd, 2015, and May 7th of this year. This represents an average of eight arrests every day over the past 3½ years – or one arrest every three hours.

There have also been 11,554 charges brought under the operation to date, for a range of offences including burglary, handling stolen property, possession of firearms and drugs offences, according to the Garda.

There have been 34,461 searches, 96,997 intelligence reports and 356,372 patrols over the same period.

The Garda figures further state that there have been 200,939 checkpoints under the operation since it started – on average about 158 every day.

Sinn Féin has cast doubt over Garda figures. Justice spokesman Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said the “number of arrests reported seems to be extraordinarily high”.