Guns seized in South Tipp garda raids - 16 arrested

Gardai made a major breakthrough in smashing an organised crime gang suspected to be responsible for a large number burglaries in South Tipperary and other South East counties with the arrest of 16 people last week and seizure of stolen property including 8 shotguns.

Gardai made a major breakthrough in smashing an organised crime gang suspected to be responsible for a large number burglaries in South Tipperary and other South East counties with the arrest of 16 people last week and seizure of stolen property including 8 shotguns.

Gardai made a major breakthrough in smashing an organised crime gang suspected to be responsible for a large number burglaries in South Tipperary and other South East counties with the arrest of 16 people last week and seizure of stolen property including 8 shotguns.

The arrests were made following dawn searches on 20 residential premises in South Tipperary and a further 23 such premises in Kilkenny and Tallaght as part of the Garda Siochana’s “Operation Muster” last Tuesday, March 4.

The operation involved 100 gardai, who assembled at Clonmel and Kilkenny Garda Stations at 6am on that date, before embarking on the search operation.

Power tools, jewellery and electronic equipment were seized during the searches.

In the lead up to Operation Muster, the bank accounts of a number of the gang’s members were frozen.

The gang are suspected to have stolen a number of legally held firearms, and quantities of jewellery, cash, electronic goods and other valuable items during their burglary spree.

As part of the investigation, Gardaí have recovered eight shotguns in recent weeks in the Clonmel area.

Gda. Insp. Paul O’Driscoll of Clonmel Garda Station said 37 charges have been proferred against members of the gang and those charged will appear before courts in Clonmel and Kilkenny in the coming weeks. Files are being prepared for the Criminal Assets Bureau and Director of Public Prosecution in relation to Operation Muster.

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Insp. O’Driscoll said the investigation is continuing and an incident room has been established in Clonmel Garda Station.

He declared Operation Muster to be a major success and paid tribute to all members of An Garda Síochána involved. They included gardai from Tipperary, Kilkenny and Waterford supported by the Regional Support Unit, the Dublin based Organised Crime Unit and Customs & Excise officers.

“Their involvement was pivotal to what it accomplished,” he said. He said the gang will be closely monitored in the South Eastern region and the Gardaí will continue to pursue them to discourage, disrupt and curb their activities.

He is appealing to all members of the public to report all matters of a suspicious nature to their local Gardai and thanked them for their continued support.