ARMED checkpoints are to become a fact of life in rural parts of West Sligo in the coming weeks as gardai hunt down a gang responsible for several house burglaries.
Some 40 checkpoints were mounted by gardai, backed up by the Regional Armed Response Unit, from last Friday through to Sunday in an area stretching from Dromard to Enniscrone. While no arrests were made the presence of armed Gardai in the area had a major deterrent affect with no breakins recorded last week-end.
Inspector Colm Nevin of Ballymote Garda Station said: "The armed checkpoints will become a regular feature in the run up to Christmas as Gardai attempt to put an end to the gang's activities.
"These checkpoints have been set up to specifically act as a crime prevention measure but are also being done to gain information about the movement of suspect vehicles.
"We achieved our main objective in our first week-end with no burglaries taking place in the area."
West Sligo has been subjected to several break-ins over the past month.
In one case a terrified woman was locked into a bedroom by a four man gang who took a small amount of cash in Dromore West.
The same gang also got into a house at Castleconnor but left empty handed after being confronted by the householders.
The armed gang, who concealed their faces with hoodies or balaclavas, were driving a grey or silver 2007 Mayo registered Mazda or Honda Accord.