Dangerous burglary gang using Tasers to attack homeowners
Members of Ireland's most notorious burglary gang are using Tasers to threaten and attack their victims.
Gardai raids carried out as part of Operation Thor have led to dozens of stun guns being seized in several counties, including Dublin and Limerick, in recent weeks.
The number-one target for detectives is a 200-strong gang previously led by slain crimelord 'Fat' Andy Connors.
In a recent operation, gardai discovered a number of Tasers when they arrested an infamous Ballyfermot criminal.
Similar weapons have also been seized from halting sites in Labre Park, Ballyfermot.
A Taser is a single shot device designed to temporarily incapacitate a person with an electric current.
Despite being illegal in Ireland under the Firearms Act, they are easily available on legitimate websites for as little as €50.
The gang formerly led by Connors has been using Tasers to attack terrified homeowners.
The 45-year-old father-of-six was shot dead in front of his wife and children at their newly-built home in 2014.
No arrests have been made in conection with the murder.
Connors' extended Traveller gang, which has more than 200 members, was the chief target of Operation Fiacla and other large investigations, but his murder did not end his gang's nationwide crime spree.
Gardai believe Connors may have been killed by the Irish National Liberation Army after he refused to bow to its extortion demands. They are also looking into a dispute he was involved in with a high-profile south Dublin businessman.
Another high-priority of local and national garda units is a burglary gang led by a 31-year-old criminal from south Dublin.
The criminal grouping has been a prime target by gardai under Operation Thor and is suspected of being involved in the theft of a PSNI officer's handgun in the North.
The gang's leader has been arrested several times for burglary-related offences.
He has also been arrested for threatening gardai and is currently before the courts in relation to other matters.
Gardai have identified key members of the gang, who are mainly in their late teens and early 20s and from Dublin and Wicklow, who operate from a halting site in south Dublin.
Garda believe the 31-year-old leader is the gang's driver, who "ferries" the younger criminals across the country to carry out robberies and aggravated raids.
One gang that gardai have dealt a significant blow to is a Coolock-based outfit, some of whom were jailed for the shocking aggravated burglary of the Corcoran family in Burnchurch, south Tipperary, in November 2013.
A member of the ruthless gang - 27-year-old Patrick Gately - was recently attacked in Mountjoy Prison by one of his own gang for "mouthing off".