A man has been arrested and a gun and ammunition seized following a garda search operation in Co Clare tonight.

Gardaí seized a hand gun, a quantity of ammunition, drugs and the components of a pipe bomb during a search of a number of houses in Shannon.

The man arrested is being detained at Ennis Garda Station.

The operation, which had lasted for several hours, is part of an ongoing operation by gardaí in Shannon and Ennis aimed at targeting the activities of a number of criminal groups associated with gangland crime in Limerick.

The searches by gardai were backed up by the newly established armed criminal regional response units, which have been specifically deployed to tackle gangland crime in the Limerick and wider midwest region.