So many Feuds in Ireland at present, and sources inform this Blog, Sligo is going to Erupt. Feuds now, in Coolock, Tallaght, Drogheda, and other small Towns. Drugs are a Scourge in any society, people can help also. Follow the Monies; Laundering Cash is a vital Cog in Gangland’s way of hiding their Ill Gotten gains? Banks should be on Alert, and Estate Agents?

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Garda crackdown

Longford cops probe seven feuds involving members of 14 Traveller families that’ve seen shootings, arson and stabbings

Exclusive up Dated by Fred Bassett

  • 19 Jan 2021, 7:20
  • Updated: 19 Jan 2021, 10:06

GARDAI are currently investigating a staggering seven separate feuds in the Co Longford area, the Irish Sun can reveal.

The bitter disputes, which first erupted in January 2019, involve members of 14 Traveller families.

Weapons seized by gardai from gangs involved in the
            ongoing Longford feud
Weapons seized by gardai from gangs involved in the ongoing Longford feudCredit: refer to caption
Cops found a number of weapons
Cops found a number of weapons Credit: Refer To Caption
Associates of jailed 'Pa' McGinley are involved in the
            Longford feud
Associates of jailed ‘Pa’ McGinley are involved in the Longford feudCredit: Crispin Rodwell – The Sun Dublin

Although no one has lost their lives, there have been a series of shootings, arson attacks, stabbings and violent disorder incidents.

Gardai believe the violence escalated following a fight between a number of young people.

One of the shocking incidents included a teenager being left with 500 stitches after he was attacked by a man with a carving knife in a shopping centre.

And just last week, a woman was viciously beaten in Moate near Athlone after she was targeted in a house outside the town by two people involved in a feud.

Some of the feud participants include associates of Patrick ‘Pa’ McGinley, who is serving a jail sentence in the North for killing his uncle Barney outside St Mary’s Church in Newtownbutler, Co Fermanagh, on February 11, 2015.

OUTBREAKS OF VIOLENCE

Following the outbreak of violence between the rival clans, cops launched a major crackdown under ‘Operation Stola’ in the Longford town and south Longford area.

Since then, sawn-off shotguns, machetes, hatchets, hockey sticks, wrenches, pitch-forks, bricks, carving knives and other weapons have been seized.

As part of their investigations – led by a team under the command of Supt Jim Delaney, who has 37 years’ policing experience – gardai have also worked closely with the Midland Traveller Mediation Service and Pavee Point in a bid to reduce tensions between the feuding families.

In an exclusive interview with the Irish Sun, Supt Delaney vowed his officers would continue to target those involved in criminality in the area.

STRONG POLICE PRESENCE

The senior officer said: “Our ­priority is to keep people safe in Longford and we will continue to do this with a strong policing ­presence in the area.

“We are assisting the ­organisations involved in the mediation process over the feuds but this is not a Get Out of Jail Free card – if someone commits a criminal offence and there is evidence they will be prosecuted.

“We have regular checkpoints, high visibility policing and we continually disrupt the activities of those engaged in serious crime.”

During 2020, 13 people have pleaded guilty to various offences, including violent disorder and possession of offensive weapons.

CONTRIBUTIONS

They were instructed by the court to make contributions totalling €19,500 to Longford-based charities.

In June 2020, three men also received suspended sentences and were ordered to make a €5,000 contribution to St Vincent de Paul.

And two juveniles are awaiting sentence after they were convicted of a machete attack on a teenager in December, 2019.

A number of men who received a suspended sentence over a vicious attack in 2019 were ordered to pay between €10,000 and €12,000 towards a rejuvenation project.

‘TREMENDOUS SUPPORT’

Supt Delaney added: “We have also had tremendous support from our colleagues in the national units and that extra level of expertise necessary when dealing with organised crime gang activity.

“There is a great determination and willingness among the men and women of the Longford district and the wider Garda organisation to protect both the residential and business community in this area.

“We have benefited from the administrative support of our Garda staff members and the solid backing of our divisional officer Chief Supt Tony Healy. It is very much a team effort.”

Meanwhile, investigators have established that three major organised crime groups are currently operating in the Longford area.

One has links to other drugs gangs operating in the capital and in other parts of the country.

More than €50,000 worth of drugs, including ecstasy and cocaine, and €40,000 in cash from a money laundering racket have also been seized in the ongoing investigations.

And gardai have staged 6,300 checkpoints, sent 76 people forward for trial and made 161 arrests. Fourteen books of evidence have also been prepared for the trials.

Engaged with Biz

GARDAI have forged close links with Co Longford businesses in a bid to combat crime.

Under Operation Phoenix, launched last September, officers stepped up patrols around shopping centres and retail outlets.

The main types of crimes identified include theft, public order and criminal damage.

Supt Delaney said the partnership with the community was vital, adding: “We have had a very positive response and the checkpoints, patrols and engagements are about improving quality of life.

“We will continue to work with the retail outlets and will listen to their concerns.

“This is about engagement and also listening to the concerns of people in a very vibrant and diverse community.

“We have many initiatives and we would like to thank the community for their continued support in very difficult times.

“We will also continue to work closely with the Council under the Longford Joint Action Group.”

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