'Someone will be caught in the crossfire...this has to be stopped now'
People in the country's largest town live in fear that an innocent person will be caught in the crossfire of a bitter gangland feud.
The feud has escalated to frightening new levels in just six days - but locals living in Drogheda say it has been ongoing for months with a series of tit-for-tat attacks.
"The fear is what will happen next. How do families protect their children, and what might wake them in the middle of the night?" said Cllr Kenneth Flood, chair of the area's joint policing forum.
"The people involved in this are criminals and have to be treated as such. They need to be arrested and taken off the streets."
"This had been simmering for a number of years and the dogs in the street know who is involved," said Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster.
"Drugs play a major part in it. We have seen young people being given drugs, and then some to sell to their friends.
"When debts rack up, their families are being approached and threatened and these threats are being acted upon.
"I know of three mothers who have put their sons on planes out of the country, that's how bad it is. There is one community Garda van working between Drogheda and Dundalk now, and just two Garda cars in Drogheda.
"The fear is gardaí are not on top of this and someone will die, someone will be caught in the crossfire. This has to be stopped now."
Fine Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd said he was in ongoing communication with Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan in relation to the matter.
"I appeal to all concerned for calm in the wake of this attempted attack.
"And I encourage anyone with information to contact the gardaí as quickly as possible. Any information could help to save lives."