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Dublin: 19 °C Saturday 24 August, 2019
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Gardaí hold one man in connection with Smithfield gun attacks

Gardaí say that there is very little co-operation from people who witnessed the event in which a total of three people were injured.

Smithfield plaza yesterday
Smithfield plaza yesterday
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

GARDAÍ ARE HOLDING one man in custody over a gun attack at Smithfield’s monthly horse fair yesterday which left two people injured in hospital.

Armed Gardaí arrested a man in his 40s at around 8pm on Sunday night. They are holding him for questioning and can do so until Wednesday evening.

Two people were injured after shots were fired in an outbreak of violence in Smithfield plaza.  A third man has also been hospitalised. He is believed to have been attacked with a slash hook.

None of the three men’s injuries are believed to be life threatening.

The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) said it was a “miracle” no one was killed as scenes of mayhem unfolded when shots were fired and terrified people and frightened horses ran from the plaza.

RTE television footage of the event showed groups of men attacking each other with sticks, tyre irons and other weapons.

The Army bomb disposal team was also called to the area to make safe a homemade shot gun. Gardaí also discovered a hand gun in the Oliver Bond Flats near Smithfield plaza as part of their investigation.

The horse fair takes place on the first Sunday of ever month and attracted thousands of people yesterday, many of whom were from the travelling community, according to Gardaí.

Gardaí also say that there is very little  co-operation with their investigation because of the nature of those who attended including from the three men in hospital.

Dublin’s Lord Mayor Gerry Breen has said he wants the fair to be cancelled because of ongoing safety concerns.

However any shut down of the market would require a change in legislation which the DSPCA have called for the incoming government to do as a matter of priority.

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Hugh O'Connell

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