Burglar-gang trio quizzed after shotgun blast fired at detective
Three suspected members of a travelling burglary gang remain in custody after a shotgun was fired at a garda detective, narrowly missing his head, in a terrifying incident.
The trio, aged 23, 27 and 32, have addresses in counties Laois, Limerick and Kildare, but sources said they had close links to a nationwide network of gangs that had carried out a spate of burglaries across rural Ireland.
The Irish Independent can reveal the suspected ringleader is a 23-year-old with an address in Portlaoise.
He is out on bail and has multiple convictions for burglary, ramming a Garda car and has even faced court in relation to separate high-speed chases with gardaí.
"His family-based gang are suspects in a burglary crime spree that has stretched from Carlow to Cork in recent weeks," a senior source said last night.
"All the arrested individuals would be no strangers at all to the criminal justice system," the source added. They were being held last night in Tullamore and Portlaoise garda stations.
The shocking incident occurred on Monday about 9.30pm after a pursuit in the area near Monasterevin, Co Kildare.
The car was suspected to have been used in a number of burglaries in Cork and Tipperary.