Man charged with possession of machine guns found in Meath

It follows a series of garda searches targeting organsied crime this week

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Garda raid at Marrowbone Lane Close, off Cork St D8 via @Seandefoe on Twitter

A man has been charged this evening in relation to the discovery of machine guns in Meath this week.

Three AK47s were found in a car on the N2 in Slane on Wednesday.

The man was also charged with membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself on the IRA.

It comes following a  series of garda raids in recent days. Searches of premises in Dublin this morning targeted organised criminals in the city linked to the drugs trade. 

Evidence was today seized from homes across south Dublin, raided by gardaí and the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) in a coordinated early morning swoop, as part of an investigation into organised crime.

Gardaí found over €50,000 in cash, €20,000 worth of jewellery, GPS tracking devices and financial documents.

Detective Superintendent Peter O'Boyle explained the results of the searches. 

Up to 80 gardaí from seven different divisions worked together to launch the dawn raids across ten properties in the Pearse St, Kevin St, Dublin 8 and Inchicore areas.

It is part of an investigation into a gang involved in the distribution, sale and supply of controlled drugs in Dublin and its suburbs.

The raids are understood to be linked to associates of David Byrne, who was shot dead in the Regency Hotel at the beginning of February.

Investigators involved in the searches carried equipment to force entry into properties.

As part of another major sweep of premises suspected to be linked to organised crime earlier this week, hundreds of thousands of euro worth of cash, high-powered cars and motorbikes, computers and expensive jewellery were seized when 18 premises were raided. 

Gardaí remove evidence from a house and car on Marrowbone Lane off Cork St, Dublin 8. via @SeanDefoe on Twitter

One man has been arrested by gardaí. He is believed to have been arrested on foot of an outstanding warrant, and not as part of this today's search. 

Herald reporter Conor Feehan told Breakfast today's operation is similar to the one run on Wednesday, but it is less high profile and the premises being searched are spread out over a wider area, geographically:

Newstalk reporter Sean Defoe spoke to the show from the scene: 

This morning's operation, which got underway at 7am, is being led by detective units at Kevin Street and Kilmainham garda stations.

The massive operation also involves gardaí from the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau; Special Detective Unit and CAB.

Members of the dog unit, divisional crimes of scene unit and South Central Divisional Task Force are also taking part.

Michael O'Toole, Crime Correspondent with The Irish Daily Star, is also covering the story.

He says the latest CAB crackdown could see the the cost of drugs go up:

"Sources would be telling me that the supply of drugs has diminished in Dublin because criminals are afraid to move the drugs, because of the number of checkpoints.

So we can expect prices to go up. It is a question of supply and demand. Obviously they might try and move some.

as they see it, hunkering down and - as they see it - trying to get over this speed bump."