A suspected IRA pipe bomb maker remains in custody after being arrested in a garda operation in west Dublin.

Ammunition and explosive components were recovered during the raid which has been described as “highly significant”.

Local detectives searched a property in Ballyfermot on Wednesday morning as part of an ongoing investigation into dissident republican activity.

The target of the raid has come to garda attention in the past but only recently featured on the radar as being linked to the subversive group.

During the search of the home detectives recovered suspected pipe bomb making equipment including nails and bolts as well as other ingredients used to make the explosive devices.

Gardaí also discovered a quantity of ammunition, believed to be shotgun cartridges, during the operation.

The suspect, who is aged in his mid-40s, was arrested and is currently being detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act, 1939.

Detectives are questioning him on suspicion of committing a number of offences including possession of explosives, possession of ammunition, and membership of an unlawful organisation.

He can be held for a period of up to 72 hours before he must either be charged or released from custody pending a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

A source told the Irish Independent: “This was a significant operation carried out by the local detective unit in Ballyfermot.

“The suspicion is that the man in custody was in the process of constructing pipe bombs for the IRA, and the material recovered in the house is evidence of this.

“Gardaí have to be commended for disrupting the activities of dissident republicans.”

The suspect in custody has come to garda attention in the past for public order related offences but is not believed to have any serious criminal convictions.

In a statement on the arrests yesterday a Garda spokesperson said: “On the 10th July 2024, Gardaí attached to the Serious Crime South Detective Branch in Ballyfermot investigating dissident republican activity have arrested a man aged in his 40s.

“The man is currently detained under Section 30 Offences Against the State Act, 1939, at a Garda Station in West Dublin.”

Justice Minister Helen McEntee had only stated in recent weeks that dissident republicans continue to represent a threat to the country.

“They have remained resolute in their opposition to democracy, the rule of law and all that the Good Friday Agreement stands for and they remain wedded to brutality and criminality,” she told the Dáil.

Ms McEntee made her comments last month during a debate on the renewal of legislation to combat terrorism and serious organised crime.

In the past year a total of 39 arrests have been made under the Offences Against the State Act 1998.

These were in relation to five separate offences, including 11 for membership of an unlawful organisation, 10 for withholding information, and three for explosive or firearms offences.

Last month gardaí uncovered a suspected improvised explosive device at Ravensdale, Co Louth, as part of a joint operation with the PSNI into dissident republican activity.