A woman is lucky to be alive after a bullet grazed her back as 15 shots were fired in to her home.
A second woman and five children were also in the timber frame house when a gunman or gunmen opened fire at about 9.15pm last night.
The gun attack in Knockbrack Close in Drogheda, Co Louth, is being linked to an internal feud among members of the Travelling community.
The intended victim, a man, was not home at the time, garda believe.
Armed officers from the Garda regional support unit are set to start patrols in the estate amid fears of another gun attack in retaliation.
Gardai said the women, aged 18 and 25, and children, aged from seven months to six years old, are lucky to have escaped without injury.
One of the women was grazed by a bullet as she was bent down tending to the baby.
A senior Garda source described the incident as an indis criminate gun attack.
"It's the luck of God we are not dealing with fatalities. If she was stood up she could be dead," the source said.
All the other children were upstairs at the time.
At least 15 shots were fired at the house, with several believed to have entered the property which is constructed from timber.
The type of weapon used, and number of guns or gunmen, will not be known until ballistic examinations are completed.
A grey Kia Creed car, which gardai believe was used in the attack was found on fire a short distance away in Platin, Co Meath.
Forensic and technical examinations are being carried out at both scenes.
Gardai have appealed for information and to anyone who was in and around Knockbrack Close or adjoining roads from 9-9.30pm last night to contact them.