An investigation is under way after a woman and a three-year-old girl were held by armed raiders at their home in Tara, Co Meath last night.

Four masked men armed with what is believed to be a small handgun, a knife and an axe forced their way into the house shortly after 11pm.

They ransacked the property before escaping in the owner's car with a number of legally held firearms, ammunition and assorted personal property.

The car was later found abandoned near the M50.

In a follow-up operation, a number of properties were searched in Rathmines in Dublin, a number of firearms were recovered and a 22-year-old man was arrested.

A black BMW car, which was the subject of a hijacking incident in Dublin city centre on Tuesday, was also seized.