REVEALED: The travelling gangs terrorising rural Ireland
A HARDcore group of criminals has created a climate of fear in rural Ireland with a relentless series of thefts, burglaries and raids.
While Operation Thor and its predecessor Operation Fiacla put high-profile targets behind bars, others are still running rampant.
The expert gangsters and the distance they cover tie up huge Garda resources when efforts are made to catch them red-handed.
Many, but not all, of the gangsters are from the traveller community and use their lifestyle to hide their activities by moving around the country.
They include members of the Subaru Gang – a loose alliance of gangsters who have carried out raids in the four corners of Ireland from their base in west Dublin.
Another gang is based in Limerick city and surrounding towns. Its members are suspects behind dozens of break-ins on rural homes and farms in Munster and the Midlands.
They carry out raids day or night and are not intimidated by the presence of gardaí.
A number of criminal outfits of ethnic Romanian origin work as a close-knit group targeting jewellery, cash and high-value goods which are quickly smuggled out of Ireland.
One of the best known gang figures is Patrick ‘Rubber Og’ O’Reilly, who is the head of a gang that operate all over Ireland.
A number of women are also active as key criminal members of the gang.