FOUR people have been arrested after gardaí seized guns and drugs valued at more than €2m during a series of searches on Friday.
The planned searches were carried out in Co. Kilkenny, Co. Waterford, Finglas and Tallaght in Dublin and Ashbourne in Co. Meath.
Investigators say the discoveries show 'the inextricable link between illegal firearms and the drugs trade'.
The 28.5kg of cocaine, estimated to be worth around €2m, was discovered after members of the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau intercepted two vehicles in Finglas at around 4pm on Friday.
Meanwhile, planned searches in Kilkenny, Waterford, Tallaght and Ashbourne uncovered three Glock handguns, a replica handgun and 1kg of cannabis herb worth around €20,000.
The searches, which were carried out as part of Operation Tara, were assisted by the Garda Dog Unit and members of the Divisional Drug Units in Tallaght, Kilkenny and Ashbourne.
Investigators also seized a hydraulic drugs press, mixing agent, drug-mixing paraphernalia, €18,000 in cash and several communications devices.
Four men, aged 55, 32, 27 and 22, have been arrested in connection with drug trafficking and are being detained at garda stations in Dublin and Meath.
"This significant intelligence-led operation conducted by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, supported by colleagues from Dublin, Waterford, Meath and Kilkenny, demonstrates the inextricable link between illegal firearms and the drugs trade," said Assistant Commissioner Justin Kelly.
"We know that these type of deadly weapons are used by organised criminal groups to intimidate, maim and kill.
"Suppressing access to illegal firearms is an absolute priority for An Garda Síochána.
"I wish to compliment the officers who continue to put themselves in harm's way, in operations such as this, to protect our communities."
All of the drugs seized will be sent to Forensic Science Ireland (FSI) for analysis.