Pensioner quizzed over €200k drugs seizure after blaze
A pensioner was being questioned after he was arrested in connection with the seizure of cannabis worth €200,000.
The man, who is aged in his 70s, was arrested at the scene of a cannabis growhouse in Co Carlow.
A second man, who escaped from a rear window of the house, is being sought by gardai.
The growhouse was discovered after a fire broke out at the property yesterday morning.
Emergency services rushed to the scene in Rathvilly at around 9.30am.
After the blaze was put out, officers entered the house and found 250 cannabis plants.
Photo issued by gardai show a number of plants in the living area of the house, with heat lamps placed above them.
More plants were found in another room.
Gardai are appealing for people with any information to contact Carlow Garda Station.
The seizure is the second in the Carlow area in recent days. A combined value of €560,000 worth of cannabis has been seized by gardai.
Locals expressed their shock at the discovery.
"This is the first I've heard of it, but I was aware of the fire brigade and heard the sirens passing through the village," said Rev John McEvoy of St Patrick's Church.
"It's not the first time something like has happened in a relatively quiet area in Ireland."
The seizure comes two weeks after more than €3m worth of drugs were discovered following searches of several vehicles and a business premises in Ashbourne, Co Meath.
Four men were arrested in the operation, which was part of an investigation targeting organised crime.
Officers from the Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) and Revenue Commissioners Customs Service officials were involved in the operation on January 31.
Gardai seized 160kg of cannabis herb, which has an estimated street value of €3.2m.
Four men, who are Irish nationals and aged between 25 and 61, were arrested for drug trafficking offences and were questioned at Finglas and Kells Garda Stations.
"As part of ongoing joint investigations targeting organised crime groups, a joint intelligence-led operation was conducted by the Revenue Commissioners Customs Service, the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau and the Special Crime Task Force supported by officers from the Eastern Region," a garda spokesperson said.