The Evening Top 5: Garda raids on gangland targets; UN report horrors in South Sudan

The top stories of the day

Man charged with possession of machine guns found in Meath

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. 

Gardaí at the scene of a search in Dublin on Friday Image: Sean Defoe

Pro-government soldiers in South Sudan allowed to rape as payment, says UN report

Pro-government forces in South Sudan are being allowed to rape women and children as a form of payment, according to a UN report.

In one incident soldiers argued over whether to rape a six-year-old girl and then shot her.

The UN human rights office said its report contained "harrowing accounts" of civilians suspected of supporting the opposition - including children and the disabled - being burned alive, suffocated in shipping containers, hanged from trees and cut to pieces.

"Rural communities have been failed by the state" - IFA rural crime executive

Crime continues to blight many rural communities, leaving many isolated residents living in a constant state of fear.

In an interview with Newstalk Breakfast yesterday, Clive Clarke, whose farm has been robbed six times, said farmers are conducting armed night patrols to protect themselves and their property.

When asked about the possibility of farmers defending themselves, he said: "It's not a question of if, it's a question of how soon."

The AA is reported to have held talks over the sale of its Irish operation

Newstalk has learned that the UK publicly-quoted motor services and insurance group, the AA, has been in discussions about the sale of its Irish subsidiary, AA Ireland.

AA Ireland employs close to 500 people here and provides motor, home and other insurance products, car breakdown services, AA Roadwatch and a range of other travel and accommodation advisory services. It has operated in Ireland since 1910.


Ikea is thinking of opening a second Irish store

The Swedish retailer Ikea is planning to expand its presence in Ireland having generated record sales and profits at its Dublin outlet last year, as 2.6 million visits were made to its Dublin store.

The company’s latest accounts show that pre-tax profits from the Ballymun store almost doubled to just over €13m last year while sales rose by 17% to €132m. This added to the momentum generated in the previous year when sales rose by 8% and profits jumped by 22%.