Three individuals with reported links to dissident republicans are under question after a machine gun and a pistol was discovered by gardai in the Midlands.
Detectives are inspecting if the weapons were moved across the Border from the North. They were being held at a house in Longford before being recovered by Gardaí.
The operation started yesterday morning when heavily armed gardai from the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) halted and searched a car driving through the Drumlish area of the county.
Ammunition was discovered in the search and the driver, in his 40s, was detained. More raids involving the Special Detective Unit (SDU) were performed at a nearby residence where two firearms, a machine gun and a pistol were found.
Two men aged in their 30s and 40s were apprehended at the scene and transported to Longford and Granard garda stations. All three men are being questioned under the Offences Against the State Act and can be detained for up to seven days.
According to the Herald, a source confirmed the men had links to dissidents, and Gardaí were trying to establish what the weapons were being used for.
“The men, who are from the area, have links to dissidents and were arrested following a lengthy surveillance operation. What exactly these guns were being used for is still under investigation, but the situation is clearly sinister and the weapons appear to be in good condition.”
According to Gardaí sources said the searches were part of an “ongoing operation by Garda security and intelligence including members of the Special Detective Unit”.
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