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'These attacks should stop': Bullets strike bystanders' vehicles during fatal shooting in Louth

It is understood the shooting is related to the ongoing feud in nearby Drogheda.

Gardai in front of the Ashling Holiday Park following yesterday's shooting
Gardai in front of the Ashling Holiday Park following yesterday's shooting
Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

A LOCAL COUNCILLOR believes it was “lucky” that nobody else was injured during a gun attack which claimed the life of Keith Branigan in Clogherhead yesterday.

The 29-year-old was killed after a gunman opened fire at the Ashling caravan park near a shop at the fishing village in Co Louth at around 3pm yesterday.

It is understood the shooting is related to the ongoing feud in nearby Drogheda, which started between two rival gangs in July last year.

Local Sinn Féin councillor Tom Cunningham, who attended the scene of the shooting last night, revealed that several families were in the caravan park at the time and that a number of cars parked outside the shop were hit by bullets.

He also explained how a number of bystanders had to run for cover to escape the gunfire.

“How there was not someone else injured in that shooting yesterday, I can’t believe it,” he told Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1.

“The local community yesterday evening were in shock that this has happened in their village. Clogherhead is a picturesque fishing village.

“It’s a good community, a great community to live [in]. I would just like to condemn those responsible for the murder yesterday of this man.

“This is no place [for violence], in Clogherhead or anywhere else for that matter. These attacks should stop, before there is someone innocent, completely innocent, injured.”

Gardaí have appealed for anyone with information about the incident to contact Drogheda Garda Station, particularly those who may have noticed anything suspicious in the Clogherhead area yesterday.

The killing is the first fatality in the ongoing feud between the two gangs.

In November, extra garda resources and armed-response units were deployed to the Louth region as a result of an upsurge in violence.

At least 25 additional gardaí were drafted in to police the region over the past six months. 

However, a bomb attack on a house in Drogheda, believed to be linked to the ongoing feud, was carried out in July. 

At the time, there were concerns that violence would flare up again after one of the gang leaders issued threats to a number of criminal rivals after recently being released from prison.

With reporting from Garreth MacNamee.

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