Arson attacks and a shooting have taken place in the last week in Co Louth
Drogheda's gang violence has intensified in recent days as petrol bombs were thrown into homes over the weekend, and a shooting in broad daylight was caught on camera.
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The Independent reports that last Thursday, a man, who is not believed to be the intended target, was shot several times in broad daylight in Drogheda, Co Louth. The shocking scene, which shows a passerby only narrowly miss the shootout, was captured on video:
A gardai spokesperson also confirmed to Extra: "Gardai in Drogheda are investigating an incident which occurred at approximately 00.15 on April 28, 2019 at St. Laurences Park, Drogheda."
"A suspect device was discovered at a house. Front window of house and front living room damaged, no persons were in the house at the time of the incident. Investigations ongoing."
"Gardai also attended a separate incident which occurred at Scarlett Crescent, Drogheda shortly after 1 am on April 28, 2019. A suspect device was thrown through the window of a home. No injuries were sustained in this incident and investigations are ongoing."
"And Gardai attended a third incident which occurred at Loughboy Mell, Drogheda at 4 am on April 28, 2019. Fire Brigade attended the scene and investigations are ongoing. No persons injured during this incident."
The violent acts are being attributed to a worsening gang feud in the area, which saw an upsurge in tensions in recent weeks, according to The Independent.
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Fergus O’Dowd, a local Fine Gael TD, is now calling for a larger police presence in the area. O’Dowd noted that nearby Dundalk, which is roughly the same size as Drogheda, has a larger police presence and the two localities should have a similar police presence.
"The situation is very grave and serious,” O’Dowd said of Drogheda. “Death is stalking our streets and innocent victims have suffered too much already.”
"They are endangering innocent citizens, including children, one of whom narrowly escaped death or serious injury last Friday in Hardman's Gardens.”
"Many homes have been petrol bombed and people have also been beaten up with violent attacks in some estates.”
"We must not tolerate this and we must show that gardaí are in charge by providing them with all the resources they have requested."
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O’Dowd told RTE’s Morning Ireland on Monday: “There’s fear in the town, there’s deep concern, we need and must have more gardaí."
“That’s the bottom line, the gardaí must have the resources they need, whatever they are, to make sure that these gangs are put away.”
The TD added: “I’ve been speaking to the Minister and he’s reassured me that armed gardaí are now patrolling the streets of Drogheda and more gardaí are on their way. I very much welcome that.”
“People need to be reassured. It’s a red line issue for us. Crime must not pay. People must be safe on the streets, you should be able to walk the streets of your town without fear."
“The problem with the two shooting incidents in Drogheda, the perpetrators were able to cross the town unimpeded by armed gardaí or by patrols on our bridges. There are strategic points where there should be and must be interceptability where guards would be ready, willing and able if they’re on the streets.”
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Also on Monday, Ireland’s Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said that he is “acutely conscious” of the situation in Drogheda.
“I totally condemn the disgraceful criminal behavior of a small number of violent thugs in Drogheda in recent times.” the Minister said.
“We are dealing with a small group, all of whom are known to the gardaí. Every effort will be made to bring this matter to an end.”