Gardaí seize 'significant haul' of grenades and drugs hidden in farm building
A significant haul of grenades and drugs has been seized by gardai as a result of an intelligence gathering operation.
The find was made in a farm building, which officers believe was being used as a warehouse by a major Dublin drugs trafficking gang.
A search of the building at Gormanston, Co Meath, was continuing tonight while an Army bomb disposal team was called in to examine the grenades.
It is understood that cannabis with a street value of at least €3m as well as a quantity of cocaine were discovered hidden behind walls in the building.
But the final estimate of the amount of drugs discovered has not yet been determine as the extensive search has not been completed.
The haul is thought to have been smuggled into the country from the UK.
Gardai say that the drugs were intended for distribution and sale throughout the Dublin region.
They believe the grenades had been included with the haul as a "sweetener".
Officers say the building was being used as a store by a gang based in north Dublin and with links to Liverpool.
The traffickers set up their warehouse after leasing a farm and buildings from the unsuspecting owner.
The search followed a detailed investigation by gardai from the Meath division and Ballymun district in north Dublin.
A senior officer said; "This is a big blow to a very active drugs gang. The discovery of the grenades adds a very sinister element to the find and underlines what can become available to drug dealing gangs as they compete with rivals for territory in turf wars".
It is the latest in a series of major drug seizures by gardai over the past year and a half.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris congratulated his members on the number of significant seizures they had made recently when he spoke at the annual conference of the Association of Garda Superintendents in Naas this afternoon.
He said the fight against drugs had "really picked up pace" in the past 18 months with the co-operation of the Garda's international partners in the UK and the US and with the help of Europol.
"There's hardly a week goes by that we don't have seizures, both nationally and internationally.
"We are very aware that we have pretty sophisticated crime gangs. They have an international footing and we have to go international if we're going to combat them." Commissioner Harris added.