Gardaí probe whether women with gun were planning feud shooting
Gardaí are investigating if three women were on their way to carry out a feud shooting when they were arrested with a loaded gun.
The women were last night being quizzed at Longford garda station following an operation targeting ongoing feud violence in the midlands.
A fully loaded double-barrel shotgun was seized as well as a canister of petrol shortly before midnight on Monday near Longford Town.
Three women, a 47-year-old, a 41-year-old and another in her 20s, were arrested after they were seen acting suspiciously.
When local armed officers attempted to stop the vehicle a black plastic bag was thrown from the car. The bag containing the firearm was recovered.
"There are several different feuds ongoing and these arrests are connected to that. A fully loaded shotgun and canister of petrol were found, so gardaí believe they were on their way to a job when they were intercepted," one source said. The operation has been described as significant and brings to 24 the number of people who have been arrested by gardaí investigating a number of different feuds in the county.
On Sunday night in the Edgeworthstown area a male was arrested after being found in possession of accelerant, a balaclava and a large knife.
Investigations into that incident are ongoing.
Last week, a viable pipe bomb was found in the Longford area while a property was also targeted in separate incidents.
On Monday of last week a house was also shot up.
No one was injured in the incident which occurred shortly after midnight and a number of spent cartridges were found at the scene with at least two shots being fired.
Two men were later arrested as part of that garda investigation. Earlier this year the Armed Support Unit were deployed to the county in an effort to prevent an escalation in feud related violence.