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Teenager appears in court charged over Athlone shooting

A man was injured in the incident last week.

Longford District Court.
Longford District Court.

A TEENAGER HAS appeared in court charged in connection to an alleged shooting incident in Athlone at the weekend.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was brought before a sitting of Longford District Court shortly before lunchtime.

He was appeared on foot of three charges that stemmed from an incident which resulted in a man sustaining injuries to his leg.

They included the unauthorised use of a pump-action rifle, the reckless discharge of a firearm and the handling of stolen property at Bower Hill, Athlone, Westmeath on 18 November.

Garda Kieran Dempsey said the teenager made no reply to each of the alleged offences when charging him in the presence of his mother shortly before 11pm last night.

He said the firearm had been allegedly taken from the boot of a parked car along with a quantity of ammunition.

The rifle, it was revealed, was being used by a contractor from the Department of Agriculture.

Garda Dempsey said “a number of shots” were later fired in the Convent Grounds of Athlone soon after which resulted in one person sustaining an injury. He added that four other vehicles were broken into on the same night.

Garda Dempsey said investigations were still ongoing in relation to the incident and could not confirm if the alleged episode was brought about by “playacting” or “stupidity” when questioned by Judge Seamus Hughes.

He also added that further charges could be brought before the court at a later juncture.
Defence solicitor Padraig Quinn insisted his client was not facing handling charges and not the alleged theft of the firearm.

Gardaí made no objection to bail, though conditions were attached including that the accused sign on at Athlone Garda Station three times weekly, observe a 9pm-6am curfew, supply a mobile number to gardaí and to refrain from interfering or contacting any witnesses connected to the case.

He is due to appear back in court on 7 February next year.

Read: An Post receives €30m loan to save rural post offices and continue five-day service >

Read: How and why under-pressure gardaí faked checkpoints >

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Liam Cosgrove

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