Armed Gardaí deployed in Longford following 43 incidents of violence involving six feuding families
The incidents include arson and a drive-by shooting.
Gardaí in Longford and Granard districts are to be assisted by Western Region Armed Support Units to manage the ongoing incidents of violence linked to a number of feuds within the Travelling community in the county.
To date, there have been approximately 43 incidents involving six different feuding families resident in Longford, with the most serious in gravity including assaults requiring hospital treatment, criminal damage, arson and a drive-by shooting.
Investigating Gardaí in Longford and Granard Districts have conducted a number of arrests as part of Operation Stola and up to 15 individuals are presently before the courts for offences linked directly to the ongoing feuds.
In addition, a number of files are in preparation or have been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
A conference was held in Longford Garda Station, chaired by Chief Superintendent for Roscommon/Longford Tony Healy, resulting in an upscaling in Garda response with immediate effect.
This will include intensive patrolling by armed support and uniformed Gardai, increased checkpoint activity, enforcement of bail conditions and fast-tracking of feud-related prosecutions. Over 170 proactive policing patrols are associated with this activity.
An Garda Síochána has warned that the increased Garda activity may cause some disruption to the general public, but it has been considered a necessary step to ensure public safety and give reassurance to the Longford community.