A burglary gang kingpin and three of his close associates are in garda custody after being arrested following a shocking burglary of a 90-year-old man.
The pensioner was left terrified after four men broke into his home outside Taghmon, Wexford just after 10pm on Wednesday. They threatened him before fleeing with a small quantity of cash.
All four male suspects are members of the notorious 'Rubber O' Reilly' gang and are being questioned in Wexford town and Enniscorthy Garda Stations.
Among the arrested men is a 48-year-old thug who is considered a main player in the 'Rubber O'Reilly' gang.
Sources have revealed that gardai put the criminals under surveillance after they robbed the elderly bachelor of cash and electrical equipment.
After the burglary, the gang fled to the Enniscorthy area.
Less than an hour after arriving at a property on the outskirts of the town, heavily armed members of the Regional Support Unit (RSU) raided the house and arrested the suspects, who are aged between their 20s and 40s.
The Traveller gang that the suspects are part of is considered one of the most prolific in the country.
Less than two months ago, they were the targets of a massive garda operation that led to the seizure of €75,000 worth of stolen property and the arrest of two women.
The gang are suspected of being behind a spate of nationwide burglaries, including incidents of "nasty" attacks on elderly people similar to the burglary in Taghmon on Wednesday night.
The mob have been long-term targets for the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), which led March's search operation against them in Wexford and Waterford.
The CAB have been carrying out raids against the Traveller mob since 2005, when they seized two new Audis, two new Volkswagen Golfs and a new Mitsubishi Pajero Jeep owned by Patrick 'Rubber' O'Reilly and his extended family.
Key members of the gang include Patrick 'Rubber Og' O'Reilly, who was released from jail in 2014 after serving time for his part in violent feud attack.