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Friday 23 August 2019

Criminal tried to ram 4x4 occupied by heavily armed gardai thinking they were rival gang

Drogheda Garda Station
Drogheda Garda Station

Ken Foy

A criminal attempted to ram a Garda 4x4 occupied by heavily-armed members of the Emergency Response Unit when he mistook them for opposing criminals and feared an attack.

The bizarre incident unfolded in an estate in Drogheda, Co Louth, when the suspect encountered the armed officers.

Sources say that the man did not realise that there were gardai in the black 4x4 and instead thought that he was going to be attacked. He then swerved at the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) vehicle in a menacing fashion.

This led to a "robust" response by the armed officers who arrested the man for dangerous driving and brought him to Drogheda Garda Station.

The criminal was questioned for a number of hours on Sunday before being released without charge.

A very close associate of the arrested man is in custody in relation to a bitter feud that the gang is involved in.

Threats to witnesses and a number of other violent incidents in recent weeks led garda management to decide that the Emergency Response Unit should be drafted in to give the gang a taste of "in-your-face policing tactics".

The mob that the arrested man is friendly with have close links to the gang who are the chief suspects in the suspected murders of Willie Maughan (34) and his partner Anna Varslavane (21), who were last seen in the Gormanston area of Co Meath on April 14 last.

It has emerged that the gang boss, who is suspected of being behind the suspected murders, has been involved in a "terrifying campaign of intimidation" against people close to Mr Maughan.

This includes a pipe-bomb attack at the home of Mr Maughan's sister in Rathfarnham in Dublin last month.

The same gang are also suspected of a feud-related murder in Balbriggan, Co Dublin, in September of last year.

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