Arms dump find a blow to organised crime gang

Gardaí yesterday struck another blow against organised crime in Limerick when a covert operation led to the location of a major arms dump.

An arsenal of weapons — 26 hand grenades, two submachine guns, two semi automatic handguns and 500 rounds of assorted ammunition — was uncovered in a shed near Ahane, around 8km from the city.

The factory-new grenades and guns were still in their manufacturers’ wrapping.

Gardaí believe they were recently brought in from eastern Europe by the Keane/Collopy feud gang.

A garda spokesman said: “This find of grenades and guns is of great significance in terms of what it contained and the amount of arms and explosives in the load. It is highly significant in the fight against organised crime in this country.”

Forensic experts were last night at the scene and gardaí are confident the location may yield further DNA and fingerprint material.

An army bomb disposal team based at Collins Barracks, Cork, spent several hours inspecting the grenades. All the items were brought last night to the ballistics section at garda headquarters.

Yesterday’s find resulted from a tightly focussed intelligence operation by Limerick gardaí which netted a lot of important information.

It is the second major garda success against organised crime in Limerick in the past week.

Last Wednesday a jury at Limerick Circuit Court returned a guilty verdict on major drugs boss, ‘Fat John’ McCarthy for having heroin worth almost €150,000. He will be sentenced on June 15.

Up to 15 members of the Limerick garda divisional search unit began searches in the Ahane area last Thursday. Detective Superintendent Jim Browne and Detective Inspector Tom O’Connor headed the searches.


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