A COUNTY Limerick man who was the target of a major garda manhunt spanning six counties is back in custody following his arrest at the weekend.
Aaron O’Halloran was brought before the High Court in Dublin yesterday after gardai executed a bench warrant for his arrest.
Separately, the 25-year-old, who is originally from the outskirts of the city, is due to appear before Limerick District Court this Tuesday on foot of another bench warrant issued by that court.
Mr O’Halloran, whose most recent address is at Gould Street in Cork City, is currently before the courts in Limerick and Cork in relation to a number of serious theft-related offences.
He is suspected of being a member of the so called “Quinn McDonagh” travelling crime gang which gardai believe has been responsible for a spate of serious crimes across the Western half of the country over the past 12 months.
These include burglaries, the theft of cars and handbag snatches.
It is also alleged that members of the gang have driven in a dangerous manner on several occasions resulting in garda cars being damaged.
During court proceedings last week - prior to Aaron O’Halloran’s arrest - it was revealed that a dedicated task-force, including more than a dozen gardai and detectives from the Limerick division had been established in an effort to locate the 25-year-old.
According to gardai, there had been a number of confirmed sightings of Mr O’Halloran in recent weeks.
However, officers said they were forced to cease their pursuit of him for safety reasons.
“He is effectively on the run, pursuits have been abandoned in Limerick, Clare, Tipperary and Cork,” said one senior detective, who added that “Aaron is fully aware that half the country is looking for him”.
Details of the manhunt emerged during court proceedings regarding a brother of the defendant, Darren O’Halloran (29), who is accused of threatening to burn down the home of a Limerick-based detective.
Prior to his arrest in Cork last Friday night, several addresses, including his family home in Limerick, had been searched as part of the of operation to locate him.
Known associates and relatives of his were also spoken to and CCTV footage had been viewed.
During the court proceedings it was alleged that a number of garda cars, including high-powered vehicles used by the armed Regional Support Units, have been damaged during high speed pursuits involving Aaron O’Halloran.
Investigations into those incidents are continuing and Mr O’Halloran may face charges.