Residents of Garrane Darra in Wilton, Co Cork were surprised last Sunday afternoon when three garda vehicles, an Armed Support Unit, and several supporting members of An Garda Síochána roared into the quiet housing estate at the bottom of Eagle Valley.
However surprise soon turned to bemusement as the gardaí left the scene less than half an hour later.
Four members of the Armed Support Unit were seen entering an apartment building at the back of the estate.
However residents described the scene as far from tense with onlookers gathering to view the afternoon’s interruption.
Gardaí arrived just after 4.30pm according to one resident who said the incident “was a bit mad”.
He described a small crowd gathering to watch the garda operation on the quiet Sunday afternoon during a Level 5 lockdown.
He said armed gardaí entered the building but soon left the apartment in a relaxed manner.
He said neighbours were left wondering what had happened as the estate had had no previous visits from An Garda Síochána as long as he was living there.
All gardaí later departed the scene shortly before 5pm.
“Still and all, it is nice to know they are there,” he said. “It was just nuts seeing a load of gardaí outside”.
A man jogging nearby at the time of the garda operation said the event “interrupted my run” but thought the gardaí’s presence funny overall.
Speaking to the Irish Examiner, a man resident in the building searched by the gardaí said the incident was a “false alarm” and would not provide further details on the matter.
So brief was the search operation, one woman living in the building said she had no memory of the episode, despite being at home the entire afternoon.
In a statement, a spokesperson said gardaí had responded to an alleged incident at the housing estate but that no “incident of note transpired” and no offences were reported.