Tuesday 25 April 2017

Gardai attacked with petrol bombs during feud, court told

Nerijus
Andriska leaving court in Mullingar
Nerijus Andriska leaving court in Mullingar
Mantvydas Uzkuraitis

Claire O'Brien

GARDAI were allegedly petrol bombed during a feud between members of the Lithuanian community.

Two men have been remanded in custody after the incident in Mullingar, Co Westmeath. Inspector Fergus Trainor yesterday told Mullingar District Court that a major investigation is underway to find out the cause of the feud.

Two men were arrested after up to 20 Lithuanians were involved in a dispute at a local housing estate.

The inspector said he has grave concerns about the dispute continuing, and told the court that petrol bombs were thrown at gardai to stop them as they tried to pursue a number of men.

Mantvydas Uzkuraitis (19), of Abbeylands, Mullingar, and Nerijus Andriska (22), Lakepoint, Mullingar, were arrested on Sunday night following an incident at the Abbeylands estate, where it's alleged golf clubs, knives and petrol-bombs were used.

Threatening

Both are charged with possession of knives and Mr Andriska is also charged with threatening, abusive behaviour. They originally appeared before Longford District Court on Tuesday.

Through their solicitors, both men told Judge Seamus Hughes that they had been defending themselves on the night and that the house where they were staying had been attacked by other Lithuanians.

"Something is going on in this town that gardai need to get underneath," said Judge Hughes. He expressed concern over the prospect of groups of people "with their pockets full of stuff like fire-bombs, golf clubs and knives".

Mr Uzkuraitis has only been in Ireland three weeks, and has been living with his brother, who paid his fare to get him here.

He gave up his job in Lithuania where he was earning €250 per month because he hoped to get work in Ireland but has not yet done so.

Mr Andriska has been living in Ireland for six years.

Both were refused bail and were remanded to Castlerea Prison to appear in Mullingar District Court again next Thursday.

Judge Hughes said he would take a very serious attitude to the offences before the court.

The case continues.

Irish Independent

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