Garda appeal for calm amid feud fears

Declan Magee

Reporter:

Declan Magee

Letterkenny’s most senior police officer has said he is concerned about possible further incidents linked to a feud following a violent incident in the town last weekend.

Letterkenny’s most senior police officer has said he is concerned about possible further incidents linked to a feud following a violent incident in the town last weekend.

A man suffered serious head injuries in an attack by up to five men at a house in the Long Lane area of the town on Friday night. Two men appeared in court on Monday charged with assault causing harm to Dermot Kildea.

Superintendent Vincent O’Brien said he is concerned about further incidents occurring. “I am appealing to the parties concerned to remain calm and to allow the gardaí to investigate the matter.” He said he was concerned that there was a feud ongoing and that there could be further incidents and retribution. The superintendent said a total of five men are believed to have been involved in the assault and gardaí are looking for a number of young men.

Garda patrols have been increased in the area and the regional support unit was deployed over the weekend as searches uncovered several weapons. An incident room has been set up at Letterkenny Garda Station as part of the investigation.

Gardaí have not recovered the weapon used in the assault at the weekend and it is not known whether a slash hook or a baseball bat with nails was used. The victim of the assault has discharged himself from hospital after receiving 22 stitches to his head.

Gerard Ward (30) and Thomas Gerard McDonagh (37)appeared at Letterkenny District Court on Monday amid a heavy garda presence. Ward, of 9 Fernhill, Letterkenny was jailed for nine months for a number of motoring offences and is to appear at Harristown District Court in Roscommon tomorrow. McDonagh, of 42 Hazelbrook Crescent was remanded on bail to appear before the court next month.

Mayor of Letterkenny Gerry McMonagle said the incident had upset people in the area. “It has taken the stuffing out of people and it has caused annoyance and worry, especially because things had improved in the area. But the gardaí have reacted quickly and two men have been charged and they have the support of people in the area. Gardaí had increased patrols in the area after an upsurge in burglaries last year and things had settled down. I hope this is an isolated incident and it does not spiral into a feud.”