Gardaí have hit the country’s biggest heroin gang after seizing more than €4m in cash from it.
The cash was found lying around in bags in a “safe house” in north Kerry.
It is thought to be the single largest haul of cash in Ireland and experienced officers said it illustrates the “sheer size of the drugs trade and the profits to be earned”.
The operation was led by the Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB), which has been targeting the outfit for years.
The gang, led by two brothers, in based in the Ballyfermot area of west Dublin.
It is one of the biggest drug trafficking gangs in the country and has long dominated the heroin market.
It has international connections and last September a Turkish national, considered a major global player, was arrested in Dublin during a deal with the gang.
The outfit has also been a major target of the Criminal Asset Bureau, which has seized fleets of high-value cars, the proceeds of crime, belonging to them.
A man, aged 46, was arrested at the Kerry house. He does not have a criminal history. Gardaí said it is common for major gangs to use someone who is trusted, but “keeps their nose clean” as their money man.
Sinn Féin councillor for Ballyfermot-Drimnagh, Daithí Doolan praised the gardaí: “We need to hit drug dealers hard and the best way to do that is to seize their cash.
“Drug dealing, particularly in Dublin, is a massive industry and we need to put in more energy and resources to address both the causes and consequences of the drugs crisis.
“The huge amount of money to be made from the trade is why there is so much violence attached to it.”