It could be some months before prosecutions are brought following yesterday's massive illegal cigarette seizure at Dublin Port, according to Revenue.

38 million cigarettes worth €14.7m on the black market were found hidden in containers describing them as ''wood briquettes''.

The seizure is the third biggest ever of illegal cigarettes in Ireland.

Retailers, who welcomed the seizure, warned it represents only a fraction of the illegal trade in Ireland.

Revenue Officer Denis Twohig told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that the level of untaxed cigarettes in Ireland is around 20%.

"6% of that would be normal cross-border trade - so it would be legal," he said.

"So you're talking about 14% illegal, untaxed cigarettes in the country.

"The loss to the Exchequer for that would be about €250m," he added.

Mr Twohig said that investigations are at an early stage, and it could be a number of months before there is significant progress.

No arrests have yet been made, but several individuals were interviewed, documents were seized, and a premise was searched.

Mr Twohig said the brand of cigarettes seized, Golden Eagiie, was not one they were familiar with.

The containers originated in Vietnam and arrived into Dublin Port via Rotterdam.