A large force of gardai, along with CAB personnel, backed up by a helicopter and sniffer dogs, embarked on a four-hour search of halting sites and houses at several locations in Waterford City early on Wednesday and seized a substantial haul of stolen property.

The raids, in areas of Ballybeg, Birchwood, Carrickphierish and Williamstown, were aimed at Traveller gangs engaged in feuding since last July. Altogether, according to gardai, there have been 120 criminal incidents in that time.

Among the items recovered were two caravans and a trailer, a selection of power tools, two quad bikes and over €10,000 in cash, all believed to have been stolen in a series of burglaries over recent months. The gardai recovered too a selection of slash hooks, knives and bars.

Documentation was also seized, including bank account details and that will be forensically examined. The involvement of CAB is focused on the lavish lifestyle of some of the warring factions and their assets.

There were no arrests but officers said further developments could be expected.

Members of the feuding families claimed this week to have ended hostilities and a mediator was reported to be on his way from Dublin with the aim of sealing a peace deal this weekend.

Since the feud began, over a bare-knuckle fight, gardai have arrested 72 people and brought 42 prosecutions.

Several attack victims sustained serious injuries and two teenagers were shot. Three horses were also horribly harmed and had to be put down and a series of arson attacks were linked to the bitter row.

A garda source declined to comment on the peace moves, but said Wednesday’s search was planned before they were announced.