A young heavily-pregnant woman was hospitalised after reckless criminals rammed into her car in broad daylight.
The innocent woman was injured in the terrifying incident which happened just minutes after a "violent face-off" between two gangs in a car park in Longford.
Machetes, slash hooks and other weapons were produced and at least one car was rammed during the course of a brawl.
The woman in her 30s was driving her own car through Longford town at 11am on Thursday last week when it was deliberately struck by another car.
The collision occurred in the town centre with the cowardly criminals fleeing the scene immediately afterwards.
"What happened here was a completely reckless act that could have resulted in the deaths of a heavily pregnant woman and her child," a senior source said.
"For these two sets of rival criminals to flee the scene shows just how little they cared about that lady and the damage they might have caused."
Fortunately, fears that the woman might lose her baby have not materialised and she is said to be making a good recovery.
It's just the latest instalment in a Traveller feud in the midlands that hard-pressed gardai are struggling to contain.
The incident happened on the Athlone Road at around 11am on Thursday last week.
The woman was driving her own Toyota when it was struck by a Renault Megane which had been deliberately rammed by a Renault sports car.
The crash happened just minutes after two rival factions had a "violent face-off" in a local retail car park.
It has emerged that the four occupants of the sports car then jumped out and fled.
All the occupants had their faces covered by balaclavas. The Megane sped away from the scene.
Investigations by gardai established that the sports car is not registered to anyone.
However, officers are following a definite line of enquiry in relation to who the occupants of both cars were.
No arrests have been made so far in the case.
"Gardai are satisfied that those involved have links to the Longford town area," a source said.
There have been a number of pipe bomb attacks, shootings and assaults linked to the vicious feuds.
But sources say that officers do not have enough resources to cope with the warfare in the midlands which has now spilled into the towns of Mullingar and Athlone in Co Westmeath.
"There are around half a dozen different, yet intertwined, Traveller disputes involving at least four extended families," a source warned.
"It is a miracle really that no-one has been killed so far.
"If this keeps on escalating, gardai will be dealing with a fatality and because of the reckless nature of these criminals, it could well end up being an innocent person like that pregnant woman."