Gardaí believe the three men arrested following an attempted raid on an ATM at Castleisland in Co Kerry are members of an organised criminal gang operating on both sides of the border.

One of the men being questioned is a 45-year old from Fermanagh who has been the target of operations by both the gardaí and the PSNI.

He is regarded as a senior figure in an organised criminal gang specialising in ATM raids

Gardaí have described today's arrests as a major breakthrough.

Two of the men succeeded in removing the ATM from the wall of the AIB bank using a mechanical digger. However, they were forced to abandon the raid after gardaí were alerted.

It is understood gardaí came across two men on Main Street in Castleisland at 5am.

The men were pursued and arrested about ten miles outside the town.

Both men are in their 20s and are currently being detained in Killarney Garda Station.

Extensive damage was caused to the wall of the bank.

In a follow-up operation, a third man was arrested in Listowel. It is understood heavy machinery was also found.

He is being detained at Tralee Garda Station.