Gardaí caught two people as they were assembling a drone outside a prison.
They had a quantity of drugs and mobile phones.
Officers made the discovery when they stopped a car near Castlerea Prison in Co Roscommon at around 11am yesterday.
They found the drone was “in the process of being set” and arrested two middle-aged suspects.
In addition, they recovered a small quantity of drugs, two mobile phones, and a watch phone.
A garda statement said: “Gardaí from Castlerea have arrested a male (46yrs) and a female (45yrs) following the interception of a drone, controlled drugs and a number of items.
“At approximately 11am, gardaí stopped and searched a car at Harristown, which is adjacent to Castlerea Prison.
“During the course of the search, two mobile phones, a watch phone, approximately 440 tablets and cannabis herb (which are both subject to analysis) were recovered together with a ‘drone’ which was in the process of being set up.
“A male and female were arrested at the scene in connection with this investigation are currently detained at Castlerea Garda Station under the provisions of Section 4 — Criminal Justice Act 1984.”
The arrested pair can be held for up to 24 hours, excluding sleep breaks.
The threat posed by drones is a cause of concern among prison authorities, given incidents of drones being used to bypass security and smuggle contraband over prison walls.
In March, it was reported that six drones had been recovered by the Irish Prison Service over the previous 18 months after failed smuggling attempts.
Also last month, there were two drone attempts at Mountjoy Jail in the space of a week.