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Crackdown Limerick's biggest crime gang target of 'major operation' as €500K of assets seized

Cash, designer watches, vehicles, horses, cannabis and a horse box were seized after 65 separate locations were searched as part of Operation Coronation.

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Over 300 gardaí were involved in a major offensive against Limerick’s biggest criminal gang which led to around half a million worth of assets being seized.

A total of 12 people were arrested in a series of raids carried out this morning across Limerick by various Garda units backed up by the Army and Customs.

Cash, designer watches, vehicles, horses, cannabis and a horse box were seized after 65 separate locations were searched as part of Operation Coronation.

Six financial accounts have also been frozen with a total value in excess of €295,000 while other documentation is currently being examined by Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) personnel.

Sources have confirmed that the targets of the significant operation were the Ryan/McCarthy crime group who have become the main players in organised crime in the county.

Over the past year alone gardaí have had a number of successes against the mob including the seizure of drugs and firearms in the city.

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Gardaí today searched “every address from the top tier to the bottom” of the criminal gang which led to 12 arrests.

“This is a major operation targeting the Ryan/McCarthy gang. They are a very significant organised crime group in Limerick involved in drug dealing and money laundering", a source revealed.

“The McCarthy gang once worked with the Dundons but they have been depleted. This current criminal network also tries to operate more carefully and not carry out murders and shootings. They’re not as stupid as the Dundons were but are still very much in the sights of the gardaí,” the source said.

A senior figure within the mob is Edward ‘Eds’ McCarthy (41) who was previously described by gardaí as “one of the biggest suppliers of illegal drugs in Munster”.

The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) also said had a “history of involvement in serious criminal activity” as it seized two homes from McCarthy which were deemed to be the proceeds of crime.

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He was involved in the Limerick feud that claimed 17 lives and in recent years has spent a large amount of time in Birmingham.

His uncle, Eddie Ryan – a convicted killer – was the first person murdered in Limerick’s feud in 2000 when he was shot dead in the Moose Bar by crime boss Kieran Keane.

The 65 searches took places at dwellings, businesses and on land near the outskirts of Limerick City.

Of the 12 arrests made so far today, seven are men and five are women.

“Eight persons (five women and three men) have been arrested for suspected money laundering offences,” gardai said.

“Two persons have been arrested for suspected drug offences, one man was arrested in connection with breaches of the Control of Horses Act, 1996 and one man was arrested in connection with the possession of an offensive weapon.

“A number of these persons have/will appear before Limerick District Court today, 7th September 2021.”

As well as the frozen financial accounts and other documentation, gardai seized cash valued at €62,500; five designer watches; three vehicles including a BMW, a VW Tiguan and a Range Rover; eight horses; cannabis herb with an estimated value of €8,000 and a horse box valued approximately €10,000.

Gardai added that the operation is ongoing.

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