A Garda investigation was under way last night into the source of 125kg of commercial explosive found in a Real IRA hideout in north Galway.
Gardai believe the explosives had been stolen from a quarry and checks were being carried out to determine if any substantial quantities had gone missing from a commercial firm in the recent past.
Explosives have not been stolen from a quarry here since the Provisional IRA was active south of the Border.
Gardai will try to establish whether the explosives, seized in a search operation on Wednesday night and early yesterday morning, had been taken recently or had been stored in a dump for several years.
The explosives were discovered in five 25kg bags in an outshed located outside the Co Galway village of Monivea. Three people have been arrested in relation to the find.