Saturday 1 October 2016

Manhunt launched after gardaí attacked with bottles and stones

Robin Schiller and Ken Foy

Published 26/08/2015 | 02:30

Detectives are searching for a man involved in an assault on three gardaí on Monday evening
Detectives are searching for a man involved in an assault on three gardaí on Monday evening

Detectives are still searching for one man after three gardaí were assaulted with bottles and stones and had a dog set on them after a routine stop-and-search turned violent.

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The incident happened at approximately 6pm on Monday evening in Mahanagh, Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim, after gardaí pulled over a car that had failed to stop on August 16.

The vehicle, believed to be a silver Ford, had previously attracted garda attention as officers were not satisfied with the ownership details of the car.

In that incident, the driver of the vehicle managed to escape when confronted by gardaí.

On Monday, one young man attacked gardaí after being asked to verify the details of the vehicle.

The officers responded by producing pepper spray and the incident turned into what sources have described as a "free for all" when two other men in the company of the young driver of the vehicle also began to assault gardaí.

During the assault, the three-man gang attacked gardaí with glass bottles, stones and sticks.

A dog was also set on officers, but it is not known if the canine managed to successfully attack gardaí.

One of the men was subsequently arrested at the scene after garda reinforcements arrived to assist their colleagues.

The Garda Air Support Unit and the Dog Support Unit were also called in to aid in the search for the two men.

A second man was arrested approximately one hour later in a wooded area around 7km from the scene of the attack.

The third man, believed to be in his early 20s is still at large.

After fleeing in the silver vehicle, he ditched the car and continued his escape on foot.

Gardaí have since seized the getaway car, which is currently being examined by forensic officers. A search for the man was postponed on Monday night as darkness fell but continued throughout yesterday.

Arson

Separately, gardaí in Co Wexford discovered a massive haul of over €21,000 worth of cigarettes after an arson attack at an adjacent property.

The bizarre incident happened shortly before 2am yesterday, when officers were alerted to the fire at a house which has been previously targeted by local criminals on a number of occasions this year.

The interior of the property was completely gutted in the fire, which was started deliberately.

Sources have revealed that when gardai and three fire brigade units arrived at the scene in Enniscorthy, a decision was made to evacuate a number of the neighbouring houses and also to use these properties to attempt to get access to the back of the house that was on fire.

When gardaí entered one of these houses, they discovered a massive haul of cigarettes and tobacco, which had been locked into a room.

"The cigarettes were seized at around 3am and the occupant of the house was briefly questioned," a source explained.

"The Revenue's Customs Service was notified and it has yet to be established where the tobacco products originated from.

"There have been no arrests in this case," the source added.

Irish Independent

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