Working as part of the Joint Agency Task Force (JATF), An Garda Síochána (Republic of Ireland) conducted a number of operations along border counties with the aim of tackling rural crime.

The high visibility operation took place on both sides of the border involving close cooperation between An Garda Síochána and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). 

Searches targeting organised crime were conducted in the Sligo and Leitrim division resulting in the recovery of suspected heroin valued in excess of €61,000 at a location in Sligo and a further €7,700 in cocaine and cannabis at a premises in Sligo town. 

Garda rural crime operation

Gardaí along with officials from Cavan and Monaghan County Councils Waste Enforcement Departments, conducted a number of coordinated inspections at licensed scrap yards, car dismantlers and waste management facilities.

Alongside this, six vehicles were seized under road traffic offences; detections were made in respect of driving licence / insurance related offences and a number of fixed charge notices were issued. 

Customs officials, along with gardaí in Cavan, Monaghan and Louth made seven detections in respect of marked mineral oil (green diesel), discovered 1,000L of smuggled kerosene and also seized a vehicle for tax offences. 

An operation by the Garda Dog Unit in the Dundalk District led to a man being arrested in respect of drug offences with €3,710 in cash seized and €1,600 of combined drugs. 

In Donegal, the District Drugs Unit supported by Customs recovered a quantity of what is suspected to be cocaine and cannabis following a search of a property in the Buncrana district.

Gardaí in Letterkenny focused on street dealing in the town with a number of detections made in respect of possession of illegal drugs for personal use. 

Remarking on the operation, detective superintendent, John O’Flaherty said: "An Garda Síochána is acutely aware that rural crime has the potential to cause serious harm to local communities if left unchecked.

"Together with our colleagues in the PSNI we are committed to taking a joint approach to protect and reassure communities on both sides of the border. 

"This operation forms part of our continued efforts to disrupt the movements and activities of persons intent on causing harm in our communities and works to reduce and prevent criminal activity in border areas," he said.

Joint Agency Task Force

The 2015 Fresh Start Agreement established the formal mandate for a cross border Joint Agency Task Force with the aim of bringing a concerted and enhanced effort to tackle cross-jurisdictional organised crime.

The Joint Agency Task force is led by senior officers from the PSNI, An Garda Síochána, and other key partner agencies.

The current six strategic priorities identified for the cross border Joint Agency Task Force are:

  • Tobacco and fuel smuggling;
  • Synthetic drugs;
  • Human trafficking;
  • Rural crime (with cross-border dimension);
  • Financial crime;
  • Immigration.