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'No more guns' Tullamore man calls for end to feud as kids almost hit by bullets in gun attack

"I'm worried for the children. And for the neighbours' children who do be walking by the house"

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James McCarthy Snr outside his home beside the damage done during the shoooting incident

James McCarthy Snr outside his home beside the damage done during the shoooting incident

James McCarthy Snr outside his home beside the damage done during the shoooting incident

A dad whose two grandchildren 'came within inches of death' during a terrifying gun attack on his home has called on his enemies to put down their guns before they kill a child.

Two shotgun blasts were fired through the front door and window of the home of James McCarthy Snr in Arden View, Tullamore, on Monday night, narrowly missing his daughter-in-law and grandchildren who were watching TV on a couch inside the window.

Shocking video obtained by the Sunday World shows the little girl being comforted inside the smashed glass in the aftermath of the horrifying shooting. Another video shows how several nights before the shooting a man walked into the estate and pointed his finger in a gun-motion at the house.

The incident is the latest in a series of attacks in the town, which gardaí have linked to an ongoing feud involving various members of a number of families.

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The damaged left after the gun attack.

The damaged left after the gun attack.

The damaged left after the gun attack.

But, speaking with the Sunday World, James Snr said the fact two small children came so close to death or serious injury on Wednesday needs to be a wake-up call to the thugs behind the latest attack.

"I don't want none of this," he said. "My two grandkids could have gotten killed.

"If they (the other side) want to, we can go out the road and sort it out with our fists like men.

"But no more guns.

"They are trying to shoot me in my own house. I done nothing to no-one to be shot - whatever is going on with them.

"But I'm worried to death about my whole family now. I want my family safe. I don't want this, I wasn't brought up with this.

"We don't use guns - I wouldn't know what to do with a gun.

"I'm worried for the children. And for the neighbours' children who do be walking by the house. They could have shot all of us the last night.

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CCTV of gardaí and family at the scene of the shooting

CCTV of gardaí and family at the scene of the shooting

CCTV of gardaí and family at the scene of the shooting

"I'd take a bullet for any child myself , but what is happening now is wrong. My daughter could have been shot in the hallway."

The children's father, who did not want to be named or pictured for this article, told how his three- and four-year-old son and daughter were standing on the couch inside the window when the shotgun blast smashed through the glass.

Blast

Miraculously, the main force of the blast struck the frame of the window meaning the children were not struck by the pellets.

"This happened at 7 o'clock in the evening," the man told us. "The glass went in on top of them.

"The front door was also shot.

"That was shot first. They shot at it as they saw my wife walking inside the glass through the hall.

"Literally the kids were within inches of getting shot … they were next to death.

"The blind there is made of wood and the shot smashed through it."

The children's grandmother, Martina, said that although it has been widely reported that the escalating feud has it's origins in a €70 drug debt - it is not any member of her family who owed that debt.

But she said her family is now being targeted as a result of a family member intervening in a separate incident - which the Sunday World cannot disclose for legal reasons.

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CCTV of family at the scene of the shooting

CCTV of family at the scene of the shooting

CCTV of family at the scene of the shooting

"It's after escalating into a nightmare," she said. "We are being terrorised here in this estate."

On Friday, gardaí said they carried out a number of searches as part of an operation targeting criminality and anti-social behaviour in the town.

A total of 10 locations were searched and three people arrested during the raid.

A number of offensive weapons and tools were seized along with quantities of cocaine and cannabis.

The Garda say they are following a "definite line of enquiry" in connection with Monday night's shooting and are "in no doubt" that the shooting is linked to an ongoing Midlands feud that involves a number of families.

Serious

"Gardaí are very confident of making an arrest in this case and this was a very serious incident," a senior source said.

Officers are also appealing for calm in the area, and sources say that a large number of people are involved in the feud "including males and females, OAPs and even juveniles".

There have been a number of violent disorder incidents linked to the feud as well as previous shootings.

"The longer this goes on there is more of a chance of someone being killed. Monday night's gun attack was reckless in the extreme," the source said.

Earlier this year, officers issued a number of people with 'GIM' forms - an official written warning given to a person who gardaí believe is in imminent danger.

Last week, three Brazilian men who are suspected of being hired by one of the Tullamore factions pleaded guilty to possession of a sub-machine gun, a sawn-off shotgun and ammunition in Co. Offaly in May.

After being arrested, one of the men told gardaí that they were planning to shoot at someone's house but "not to murder someone".

Evidence was also given of an address of significance being inputted into Google Maps on one of the men's phones and that one defendant who collected the firearms later got lost twice while en-route to the scene.

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