DETECTIVES are investigating whether an Uzi machine gun discovered in the sea off Howth is linked to criminal activity.
The firearm was yesterday taken for forensic analysis.
The Garda sub-aqua unit backed up by officers from Howth Garda Station made the discovery at about 4pm.
The gun was found by divers just off the east pier, which is a popular spot for walkers and families.
"The firearm has been taken away for logistical analysis and investigations are continuing," a garda spokesman said.
The spokesman could not confirm the model of firearm discovered but the Herald understands that it was an Uzi.
A source said last night that it was too early to say whether the gun was used in any of the capital's recent shootings but described the discovery as "alarming".
Gardai contacted the Howth coastguard after receiving a tip- off that the gun had been thrown into the sea.
The coastguard provided a vessel to gardai to assist them in their operation.