Gardaí in Limerick have seized a shotgun, a handgun, and €40,000 worth of suspected cocaine in an operation targeting criminal activity in the Limerick City area.

The finds were made possible with the help of garda dog Rex, who has had a number of successful drugs busts in the Southern region in recent weeks.

The finds were made by the Limerick Divisional Drugs unit, helped by the Southern Region Dog unit carrying out a search near the riverbank in the St Mary's park area of Limerick city yesterday afternoon.

They found a shotgun and a small number of shotgun cartridges all wrapped in plastic in the area, along with a quantity of drugs suspected to be cocaine, and estimated at this stage to be valued at over €40,000.

But as the search continued, Rex indicated to his handler that there was something else hidden underground in the riverbank area, which warranted further inspection, and gardaí then discovered a handgun also hidden and wrapped in plastic.

The firearms and the drugs are now being forensically examined.

No arrests have been made but investigations are continuing.

Rex has been successful helping gardaí in a number of drug finds in recent weeks, including helping to uncover €16,000 worth of suspected cocaine at a house in Mallow, and cannabis and ecstasy estimated to be valued at €27,000 at a house in Dunmanway in west Cork last week.