Nine arrested over Longford feud-related violence in which man was shot and another run over

Longford Garda Station (Photo: Google)

Liam Cosgrove

Gardaí have arrested nine people in connection to an alleged shooting in Longford town which later resulted in a man being allegedly mown down by a van in a feud-related hit and run.

The incident, which occurred on January 24, left a man with serious injuries in hospital.

A video posted by the man's father was uploaded onto social media the same evening in which he appeared to 'call out' a number of individuals and address claims his son had been the victim of a drive-by shooting.

Detectives believe he is currently embroiled in a simmering inter-family related feud which began last December.

Members of the man's own family are currently before the courts in relation to a violent incident which occurred inside a busy department store in Longford town last month.

He, together with a number of close associates have also, previously, been the target of Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) chiefs.

It's understood gardaí are examining whether the man may have been targeted after a firearm was discharged in the town's Ardnacassa housing estate on the same afternoon.

Disturbing footage of the incident during which young children could be heard screaming and ducking for cover is understood to be a key part of the Gardaí's ongoing investigation into the incident.

A garda spokesperson has confirmed a file will now be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to determine what, if any, charges can be brought against any of those who were detained for questioning.

"Nine persons have been arrested in relation to an incident involving the discharge of a firearm in Ardnacassa, Co Longford on January 24, 2022," said the spokesperson.

"Each person was released without charge with a file being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions."

It comes amid heightening fears over the escalating level of violent incidents which have spilled out onto the streets of the midlands town in recent weeks.

The latest of those took place last Tuesday when a man was left with serious injuries after being allegedly stabbed inside the doors of a fastfood takeaway.

Twenty-seven-year-old Patrick Stokes, of Corboy, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, was brought before a sitting of Mullingar District Court two days later and granted bail despite strong objections by gardaí.

The court heard the alleged incident took place in front of around 10 to 15 people, some of whom were young children.

Concerns linked to the spiralling level of violent episodes in Longford town have resulted in greater police visibility, tougher sentencing and additional resources being made available to gardaí.

"This is not just feuding, this is serious criminal violence," said local Cllr Seamus Butler."

"These people need to be removed from the streets of Longford for as long as possible and the judiciary have a huge role to play in that.

"What we and this town needs is more resources and what's required is foot patrols to be carried out every working day in Longford."

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