A sizeable raid involving garda and army units took place in the Heywood and Ardgeeha areas of Clonmel, Co Tipperary, on Wednesday.
Investigating gardaí carried out a total of eight searches under warrant at a number of properties.
The raid, involving a garda armed support unit, dog unit, public order unit and stolen vehicle investigation unit as well as customs, the army and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA), took place just weeks after locals rallied to draw attention to the high rates of rural crime in the area.
‘Operation Rototiller’, an anti-crime operation was launched specifically for the south Tipperary town after locals raised concerns.
The operation is being overseen through an incident room at Clonmel Garda Station and came about following a meeting between Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and local farmers and landowners. The meeting, focused on the area’s issue with rural crime, led to Minister McEntee committing to a crackdown.
The crime experienced in the rural area surrounding Clonmel includes farmer Gerry Purcell’s attack and recent thefts and trespassing incidents.
Some 15 dogs and three horses were seized under the Animal Health and Welfare Act during Wednesday’s raid.
Investigating gardaí also arrested five individuals in relation to a number of alleged offences including assault causing harm and the possession of stolen property.
Those arrested are currently detained at various garda stations in the Tipperary division. Officers of Revenue Customs Services also made a number of detections on private vehicles allegedly using green diesel.