It is understood that gardai, the national police service of Ireland, received credible intelligence of a plot which targeted the next in line to the throne.
As part of the operation, two men in their 20s were arrested during a search in Co Leitrim. The vehicle they were traveling in contained a pistol and two pipe bombs. In order to make sure the scene was safe, The Army Bomb Disposal Unit conducted two improvised explosives at the scene.
The men were arrested close to Glenfarne, very near to Sligo Racecourse which Charles and Camilla are due to visit during their tour next week.
In addition to the two men arrested in the vehicle, the Irish police conducted a further 20 searches across the area and arrested four more men. Explosive devices and equipment to make two large bombs were also found in the searches.
Charles and Camilla will be making four-day visit from 19 to 23 May. The Queen’s son first visited the country in 1995. He paid another visit in 2002 ahead of the famous State Visit by The Queen in 2011.
This trip is The Duchess’ first official visit to the Republic of Ireland, although she has previously been there on private trips.
Security has been stepped up across the Republic of Ireland in anticipation of the royal visit. During the tour, Prince Charles will visit the spot where his great-uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, was killed in 1979 by the IRA.
Since Lord Mountbatten’s assasination, Ireland has had a strained relationship with The Royal Family. In 2011, The Queen made a historic visit to Ireland in which a massive security operation was in place to protect the monarch.
Ireland’s President, Michael D Higgins also made a state visit to the UK in April of last year.
Image Credit: Dan Marsh