Tuesday 22 October 2019

Number of people injured, dog killed and vehicles burnt out during attack at farmhouse

The house and yard where eight security guards were allegedly attacked at Falsk, near Strokestown, Co Roscommon. Picture Credit :Frank McGrath
The house and yard where eight security guards were allegedly attacked at Falsk, near Strokestown, Co Roscommon. Picture Credit :Frank McGrath

Micheál O'Scannail

An investigation has been launched into an attack at a farmhouse in Roscommon in the early hours.

A number of people were injured in the incident which took place at around 5.30am at a house and farm in Falsk near Strokestown.

It is understood that the property was recently repossessed and security personnel were guarding it at the time.

Three of those injured - all security personnel - required treatment at Sligo and Mullingar hospitals.

It is understood that the security personnel have reported that men in high-vis jackets attacked them with baseball bats.

A number of vehicles were burnt out and at least one dog was seriously injured during the attack, and had to be put down.

Gardaí have said that they are investigating an incident of criminal damage and assault.

A local resident and volunteer for Athlone Community Radio, Anna Kavanagh, was reporting on the repossession and attended the scene after the repossession and again after the alleged attack.

Ms Kavanagh told Independent.ie that the evicted residents are all elderly and extremely traumatised by the events.

"I met with the neighbours and I spent three hours with them and they were absolutely distraught," she said.

"There were two elderly brothers and their sister, all unmarried. They were very upset and concerned because, particularly for one of the men, it’s not his property but he has lived there for his whole life. He was born in the house, he’s in very bad health and he was removed from the house.

"They are being cared for by neighbours. They’re homeless. They are very, very, very traumatised and one of them is in poor health. There have been many generations on that farm and the property was built by their parents."

Ms Kavanagh initially went to the property to interview the men acting as security after the repossession and was met, she says, by men with Northern Irish accent dressed in all-black.

"There were a couple of vans with Northern registrations there," she said.

"I got out of the car and these two men, clad form head-to-toe in black, with Northern accents, greeted me."

When she returned after the alleged attack she was denied entrance, this time by the Gardaí, who informed her that the property was now a crime scene.

"I arrived there shortly after 7am [this morning]," she said.

"When I got there the road was completely blocked up with an ambulance, a fire brigade, Garda cars, and a lot of Gardaí.

"It’s a difficult place to be and it was difficult to see what we saw. When we got there it was considered an emergency but while we were there the Gardaí came to say that it was then considered a crime scene so they put up the tape.

"About 15 minutes later we were told that the crime scene was being widened and we were asked to leave. There were no fires there when I went in the morning but there were fire brigades there and there was a very heavy smell of burning rubber."

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