Thursday 22 February 2018

Stand-off between gardai and man who threatened to blow up house

The stand-off between the man and gardai lasted six hours
The stand-off between the man and gardai lasted six hours
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

GARDAI were locked in tense negotiations for over six hours with a man who threatened to blow up the house he was in.

There were no other people involved in the incident.

Gardai surrounded the address in Mountrath, Co Laois shortly after 2.30pm yesterday after receiving reports that the man had locked himself inside.

Residents on the estate were instructed to stay indoors as a full scale garda operation was put in place.

Armed gardai remained on stand-by as gardai, understood to be members of the armed response unit, surrounded the building to negotiate with the man.

Locals said the man was in an obvious state of alarm and could be seen smoking the odd cigarette from an upstairs bedroom window.

At 8pm officers officers were still trying to coax the man out.

While he did not have anyone else in the property, gardai said they had serious concerns for the his welfare throughout the standoff.

Up to 15 gardai attended the scene and it is understood the gas and electricity supplies to the house had been cut off.

Residents in the quiet housing estate who watched events unfolding from the street outside told how they became aware of the incident at 2.30pm when gardai arrrived at the scene.

They said gardai closed off the area and instructed them not to leave their homes in case he followed through with his threats.

"He was sitting in the top window of the house all day and the gardai were trying to get him out.

"He was shouting abuse at the guards," one local told the Irish Independent.

"They (gardai) wouldn't allow anyone enter the estate and if we went out we weren't allowed back in.

"He eventually came out with his hands on his head and they arrested him. But it looked as if it could have turned serious earlier today."

He was taken from the scene by detectives in an unmarked garda car at around 8.30pm.

The man, aged in his late 30s or early 40s, is now in garda custody.

Irish Independent

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