Slash hooks and sledgehammers seized by gardai investigating feud between traveller gangs
Slash hooks, pepper spray, and sledgehammers, have been seized by gardai investigating a feud between traveller gangs in the Midlands.
A total of seven people are being questioned following the search of a number of homes in the region.
Gardai used search warrants to investigate the contents of an estimated 13 dwellings in Mullingar, Athlone and Moate.
The garda investigation, which got under way early yesterday morning, is being co-ordinated in Athlone garda station.
A woman in her 30s, a 17-year-old youth, and a man in his 60s, were among those arrested and held for questioning.
Four men, aged in their 20s and 30s, were also arrested following searches in the Mullingar area.
They were taken to Mullingar Garda Station where they were detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.
Judge Seamus Hughes, who sits in District Courts across the Midlands, has twice recently warned members of feuding families he will take a very serious view if particular incidents of lawbreaking are proven.
He initially made his comments at Athlone District Court last Wednesday, and repeated his warning at Mullingar District Court on Thursday.
At the Mullingar court hearing he was dealing with five members of the extended Nevin family from Mullingar, including Olympic silver medallist, John Joe Nevin, who were before him on charges arising from a melee outside a Mullingar public house last month.
He queried if they were members of the same Nevin family who were involved in a feud with the Joyces of Moate.
Addressing the five men, Judge Hughes said: “You’d be well advised to note my comments in Athlone District Court yesterday. I consider the matter under investigation as extremely serious and you had better watch your step.”
Later, at the same court session, John Joe Nevin’s solicitor Patricia Cronin told Judge Hughes that her client wanted to let the court know it was not his side of the Nevin family, which was involved in the dispute with the Joyces of Moate.