Gardaí have arrested four men in an investigation into a violent feud between rival families in Kilmallock, Co Limerick.
The four males were arrested on Monday morning in a planned Garda operation, in the Kilmallock area.
The four suspects are being questioned by gardaí on suspicion of being involved in a series of violent clashes in the town last month.
“Four people have been arrested in connection with an incident of violent disorder that occurred in Kilmallock, Co.Limerick on Sunday, 12th September 2021. Gardaí from the Bruff District carried out the operation in the Kilmallock area this morning, 5th October 2021,” a Garda spokesperson said.
“Local Gardaí were assisted by personnel from the Regional Armed Support Unit, Henry Street and Roxboro Detective Units, Limerick Divisional Drugs Unit with canine assistance, Limerick Divisional Roads Policing Unit, as well as units from Croom and Charleville,” they said.
“The four arrested, all male, are currently being detained in a number of stations in the Limerick Division and investigations are ongoing.”
Rival groups clashed on the day in question, armed with weapons. Windows were smashed in a house and cars were damaged during the incident.
A garda source said that on the day, gardaí responded to the scene of “an affray, involving two rival factions”.
Local gardaí “requested assistance” and a number of Garda units from neighbouring districts and armed gardaí were deployed to the town.
The violence began around 8pm and continued for a number of hours.
Gardaí increased local patrols in a bid to keep a lid on tensions between the rival families and to try “curb these activities”.
The source said gardaí were examining videos on social media as well as CCTV cameras in the town, to try to identify those involved.
A number of videos circulated online showing a group of males smashing windows in a house in the town.
Another video showed a large crowd gathered in an estate in the town, and a loud bang was heard. In this video a female is heard asking, “Is there guns there?”, and another female is heard responding, “there was guns there a while ago because a shot went off”.
The video shows gardaí at the scene and a uniformed officer trying to calm the crowd.
Another video gardaí were examining showed a number of people armed with sticks and shovels and hurleys.
Gardaí said there were “no reports matching“ shots being fired at the time.
A local source said tensions had been rising between rival groups in the town for a number of weeks.
However, it was that reported members of the rival groups met after the incident in a local church and agreed a truce.
In a follow-up operation on September 19th, targeting the sale and supply of drugs in the town, Bruff Gardaí assisted by an armed unit, dog unit, and drug unit, arrested two men and seized cash and suspected drugs.
Around €8,000 worth of suspected cocaine and cannabis and cash was seized by gardaí and forwarded to Forensic Science Ireland for analysis.