Seven men have been arrested by armed gardaí in north Dublin ahead of a possible armed robbery.

The men were arrested on Rosemount Avenue in Artane at 2.30pm.

Two cars were seized and a gun, balaclavas and other assorted items have been recovered.

Three men were arrested at the scene and three others were arrested in a car close by, while the seventh was detained a short distance away.

The men are aged in their early 20s to mid 50s.

Detectives believe the men were about to carry out an armed robbery. 

The seven are being detained in three north Dublin garda stations and can be questioned for up to three days. 

It is the first major garda operation by the newly-formed Organised Crime and Drugs unit.

Armed officers from the Emergency Response Unit were also involved in the arrests. 

No shots were fired during the arrest operation.