Wednesday 16 April 2014

Man held after gun siege had just moved to family home

Gardai responding to the incident in Sligo. Photo: James Connolly

THE man arrested after a gun siege outside Sligo had only recently moved back into his parents' house after living in homeless accommodation for men.

The 30-year-old, arrested after shooting at gardai, had been living in homeless accommodation in Sligo town.

But about eight weeks ago the man, named locally as Michael O'Connor, is understood to have moved back into his parents' home at Scardenmore, 4km outside Sligo town.

He remains in custody at Sligo garda station after his period of detention was extended. A decision is expected today on whether to bring him before a special sitting of the District Court.

Detectives were yesterday still quizzing him about the shooting with a legally held shotgun at his parents' home while they were at Leopardstown Races in Dublin.

The unemployed mechanic was described by neighbours as "something of a recluse".

They also said he was treated for depression on a number of occasions in recent years.

He was arrested shortly after 1.30pm on Saturday after a 13-hour siege which began after neighbours reported suspicious activity.


When uniformed gardai answered the alert, they noticed a damaged patio door and then saw an armed man inside.

He fired in the direction of the gardai, striking their unoccupied patrol car. Sources said it was a miracle nobody was hurt as an officer had just left the vehicle.

It is understood well over 10 shots were fired during the incident.

The gardai returned fire then using a less lethal weapon, a shotgun used to fire bean-bags. The man then barricaded himself in the house.

There were several hours of long silences from within the house as a garda negotiator attempted to end the siege.

Eventually, the gunman agreed to surrender.

Irish Independent

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