Armed gardaí deployed to midlands as feuding between six families escalates
Specialist armed garda units have been deployed to a midlands county to prevent further violence linked to as many as six ongoing feuds.
Gardaí in Longford are investigating more than 40 violent incidents, including a shooting, an arson attack and an alleged hit-and-run outside a supermarket. The incidents are linked to feuding between up to six Traveller families which has been ongoing over the last number of months.
In an effort to prevent any further attacks, Garda management have called in regional Armed Support Units (ASUs) to increase firearms officers patrolling the county.
A senior source said that the specialist units would carry out random checkpoints and patrols as part of a policing plan. "This involves between five and six families disputing with one another, as well as inter-feuding," the source told the Irish Independent.
"In some cases it is a small number of individuals from the one family involved, in other cases larger groups."
The level of violence has escalated in recent weeks. On June 6, shots were fired at an occupied house at Clonbalt Wood in the town with a man in his 40s narrowly avoiding injury. The suspects fled the scene and a car was later found burnt out in the Ferefad area.
The previous night, two houses were burnt out in the Corboy area of Edgeworthstown. One was a vacant property, while the second was unoccupied at the time.
Gardaí are continuing their investigations into these crimes.
In a separate incident in April, a number of people were alleged to have been targeted in a road traffic collision outside a supermarket. The matter is currently before the courts and is believed to be linked to the feud.