Criminals who have set up shop in Portarlington on the Laois Offaly border got an unwelcome surprise on Wednesday as part of a Garda crackdown.
Laois-Offaly Division Garda Chief Superintendent John Scanlon oversaw the operation which involved armed gardaí, drug unit detectives, uniformed gardaí, amongst others. The Garda Mounted Unit was also on patrol around the town.
The operation involved a widespread sweep of areas in the border town where gardaí suspect criminals live. Details on arrests are not yet available.
The flooding in Mountmellick meant that some of the gardaí involved were diverted but the operation was regarded as a success.
The checkpoint was part of the work undertaken by a new garda Task Force established to tackle rural crime in the Laois/Offaly division after a spate of burglaries, including a vicious attack on a farmer in Brosna in early November.
Gardaí believe the taskforce has already had a significant impact on criminal activity in the two counties with two arrests taking place following searches in Daingean last weekend.
Two men were arrested and charged for handling drugs and stolen property.