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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 22 November, 2019
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Extra armed gardaí in Drogheda as notorious prisoner linked to feud set for release next week

Additional garda patrols have been approved.

Graffiti at the entrance to the Moneymore estate.
Graffiti at the entrance to the Moneymore estate.
Image: Garreth MacNamee

A CONVICTED CRIMINAL gardaí believe is heavily involved in the ongoing Drogheda violence is set for release from prison next week just days after the latest gun attack linked to the ongoing feud. 

Additional armed patrols and uniformed units have been drafted in to the district to cover what officers expect to be a serious escalation in tensions between the feuding sides.

A man was shot in the Louth town earlier this week in what officers believe was part of the ongoing feud. 

In the last 24 hours, two houses were attacked with petrol bombs. 

Gardaí have been carrying out a number of search operations in the town and on its outskirts in the last two weeks as they prepare for the release of a “serious player” from prison. 

The man is suspected of directing one side of the Drogheda feud from prison.

This week’s shooting took place in the Hardmans Gardens area of Drogheda shortly after 4pm on Wednesday.

When officers arrived at the scene they discovered a 36-year-old man who had been shot a number of times in the leg and shoulder.

The attackers used a red Volkswagen Golf bearing false registration plates during the incident.

The car was found burnt out in the Sheephouse area on the Rathmullen Road, Drogheda. It is believed that two men ran from this car when it was abandoned.

Describing the “indiscriminate attack” as “callous and reckless” Superintendent Andrew Watters of Drogheda Garda Station said the broad daylight shooting endangered members of the public and children.

The ongoing feud has seen a number of serious injuries as a result. 

On 5 July last year, Owen Maguire was shot a number of times at his home on Cement Road in Drogheda. He somehow survived being shot at least four times at close range with a handgun.

Since this shooting, the two gangs have been exchanging tit-for-tat attacks – mainly in the form of firing shots at people’s homes. Violence erupted again in November between the two gangs – one predominantly comprising members of the Traveller community, the other settled men. 

At 11.15pm on 8 November – Thursday of last week – a petrol bomb was thrown at a house in the Termon Abbey area. There were no injuries but there was some minor damage to the property.

At 11.29pm that same night, gardaí received reports that a man had entered a halting site in the Cement Road area allegedly carrying a firearm. Officers attended the scene, but nothing was found.

Since then there have been a number of serious assaults related to the drugs feud. 

Gardaí believe that the release of the man from prison next week is only going to heighten tensions in the area. 

Large scale searches are continuing in both gangs’ strongholds as officers attempt to remove as many weapons from each side before the man’s release.

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