Nine men have been arrested in a series of raids in Galway city and the surrounding area by gardaí investigating the activities of a criminal gang.

The nine are all in their 20s and 30s and are being held in a number of stations throughout the county including Galway, Loughrea, Gort, Tuam and Ballinasloe.

They are being held under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act on suspicion of directing, participating and organising activities of a criminal gang.

They can be questioned for up to seven days.

Gardaí searched 20 premises, including private residences and professional offices, and seized four vehicles, mobile telephones, computers and documentation in the operation.