30 held in raids on 'drug dealers'
Thirty suspects have been arrested in a wave of raids across Dublin targeting drug dealers.
The operation - codenamed Tempest - is focused on the north inner city and follows a six-month undercover investigation.
Some 46 properties have been searched.
More than 100 Garda officers are involved in the co-ordinated sweep against suspected dealers involved in selling heroin, cocaine and other illegal drugs.
Chief Superintendent Patrick Leahy said the dozens of raids were a direct response to concerns flagged up by residents during door-to-door inquiries by community officers since the start of the year.
"To date, more than 8,000 residents of the north inner city have been interviewed by community gardai in an effort to provide a more community-focused customer-centred approach to policing in the area," he said.
It is expected 45 suspects will face up to 100 charges connected with drugs sale and supply offences as a result of the operation, which is continuing.
Local officers in the capital's northside are being backed up the Garda national drugs unit, the emergency response unit, the Garda air support unit and the Garda dog unit.
Mr Leahy said the arrest operation started last Monday but culminated in a series of dawn raids this morning resulting in the arrest of 16 "key targets".
"These are people we may have been looking for for quite a while, people that would have had substantial investigations conducted into them," he said.
"People who would have been having significant impact on the communities."
Another 14 were arrested during the previous eight days.
Officers from Bridewell, Store Street and Mountjoy Garda stations, as well as the elite squads back-up, including armed officers, were briefed at Garda headquarters in Phoenix Park at 6.30am.
Just over half an hour later, they left in a convoy to swoop on mainly residential properties.
The targets were suspected low-level drug peddlers who were upsetting residents in the north inner city.
"These are not major international criminals, these are the people who are interfering with the quality of life of local residents," said Mr Leahy.
"These are people who have been dealing on the streets."
Small amounts of cocaine, heroin and cannabis, as well as a couple of thousand euros in cash,were also seized.
The suspects, all men in their 20s and 30s, are to appear in court on Thursday.