Gardai have carried out searches at dozens of so called head shops as part of an investigation into the licensing of certain products.

In an operation which began at noon, detectives searched premises in Dublin and throughout the country and have taken away several products for further investigation.

The sale of 'party pills' in a variety of shops around the country has been under scrutiny for some time.

The products are not illegal.

However, some products have herbal contents and gardaí have seized them - saying there is concern over whether or not the shops that are selling them are properly licensed.

Fine Gael Senator Fidelma Healy Eames has called for emergency legislation to be brought before the Dáil to deal with the availability of herbal ecstasy.

She claimed two young people in Co Galway are being treated in a psychiatric unit as a result of taking the drug.

Herbal ecstasy contains the legal drug BZP (Benzylpiperazine) and has effects similar to MDMA.

BZP is legally sold in Ireland although it is banned in a number of other countries, including the US.