Friday 23 March 2018

Slash-hooks, large knives, a bow and arrow and several sawn off shotguns seized in major garda raid

Three arrested as more than 50 gardaí carry out series of major raids across Cork

Weapons seized by gardai following raids in Cork
Weapons seized by gardai following raids in Cork
Weapons seized by gardai following raids in Cork

Ralph Riegel and Denise Calnan

Three people - one teen and two men in their 40s - were arrested and a number of weapons including several sawn off shotguns were recovered after a major Garda raid on properties in Cork.

More than 50 Gardaí, supported by the armed Regional Support Unit (RSU), conducted a series of major raids across Cork's northside as part of a crackdown on general criminality.

The raids were ordered amid concern, following the posting of an internet video, that a clash was imminent between two armed groups in south Munster.

In a video posted over the weekend, a dozen masked men level threats at a rival group - and then three firearms are discharged into the air to underline the seriousness of their threats.

All the other masked men in the video are armed with clubs and slash hooks.

Garda chiefs ordered the raids in a bid to seize the firearms involved- two of which appeared to be automatic handguns.

The crackdown also involved officials from the Customs and Excise.

The raids were conducted with support from armed RSU members as well as drug squad officers and sniffer dogs.

Weapons seized by gardai following raids in Cork
Weapons seized by gardai following raids in Cork
Weapons seized by gardai following raids in Cork

A number of properties were searched with one of the biggest operations focused on a halting site and at St Anthony's Park in Hollyhill.

Uniformed officers conducted the searches throughout the morning supported by armed Gardaí.

The searches were ordered as part of a crackdown on gangs suspected to be engaged in general criminality.

Gardaí are particularly trying to crackdown on those involved in burglaries and robberies around the south Munster area as well as the distribution of drugs and smuggling.

Gardaí were searching for a number of high value items taken as part of recent thefts.

Seizures included a number of weapons including slash-hooks, large knives, a bow and arrow and several sawn off shotguns.

Two caravans and a 4x4 vehicle were also seized. Property recovered included jewellery and cash.

The searches included detailed examination of various properties including their roofs, gutters, drains and gardens.

Local fields were also searched.

Several hours into the operation, three men were detained and taken to Gurranabraher Garda Station for questioning.

Customs & Excise officials examined a number of vehicles which had been brought into Ireland from the UK.

The raids are part of an ongoing operation targeting general criminality in the south Munster region.

A Garda source said the operation was totally unconnected to an incident in Ballincollig on Tuesday evening in which three East

European nationals were injured when attacked with knives and slash-hooks.

One man suffered serious injuries in the incident which erupted at an estate in Ballincollig shortly before 9pm on Tuesday night.

Three men, all East European nationals, were injured in the melee, which is understood to have involved up to seven men.

However, all had left the scene by the time Gardaí arrived.

The trio - which included a father and son - later presented themselves to the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) for treatment.

None sustained life threatening injuries.

Gardaí launched an investigation after discovering a quantity of blood at the scene.

Forensic experts examined the scene but it is understood Gardaí have not, as yet, received any formal complaint in relation to the incident.

Officers are hoping to interview the trio who presented themselves at MUH for treatment of stab and slash-type injuries.

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