Gardaí investigate attack on Cork house by armed masked men

Online video shows threats being made and shots fired during incident on Friday night

Some of the weapons seized by gardai during a search of St Anthony’s Park Halting Site in Hollyhill on Cork’s northside. Photograph: An Garda

Some of the weapons seized by gardai during a search of St Anthony’s Park Halting Site in Hollyhill on Cork’s northside. Photograph: An Garda

 

Three men questioned in connection with an attack on house in Cork by an armed gang and a linked incident in which threats made to a man in an online video have been released without charge.

A senior Garda said two women and a young child were terrorised during the attack at the house in Bishopstown and added that the property was “completely trashed” and a number of cars damaged.

The three men, two in their 40s and one in his late teens, were arrested by gardaí during a search of St Anthony’s Park Halting Site in Hollyhill on Cork’s northside involving up to 60 officers and the armed Emergency Response Unit.

The two guns recovered at the halting site. Photograph: An Garda
The two guns recovered at the halting site. Photograph: An Garda

Gardai decided to move on to the site on Wednesday morning in a preventative move after a video was posted on social media on Saturday night which showed a group of around 20 men wearing balaclavas and armed with machetes and slash hooks threaten an individual.

Gardaí recovered a rifle and a shotgun along with ammunition hidden in a communal area at the halting site as well as up to 20 slash hooks, machetes and knives which they believe may have been used in an attack on a house in Cork city on Friday night.

“We will cut you up and you will never again get on a camera ..... your greedy ass will never again be allowed into the county Cork and if you have warriors, bring them on, ya little tramp, ya,” said one of the men on the video, before someone in the group discharges three shots from a shotgun.

The confrontation in the video, calling out a young Traveller in his 20s from Dublin, appears to stem from a belief that a young man got a teenage member of a Cork Traveller family pregnant and then married someone else.

This is regarded in Traveller culture as bringing shame to the pregnant girl’s family.

It is understood the armed gang attacked the house as they believed this young man was staying there.

Slash hooks, machetes and knives which were recovered during a search of the St Anthony’s Park Halting Site in Hollyhill. Photograph: An Garda
Slash hooks, machetes and knives which were recovered during a search of the St Anthony’s Park Halting Site in Hollyhill. Photograph: An Garda

The three men arrested were released around midnight on Wednesday without charge and gardaí will now prepare a file on the matter for the DPP.

The Garda press office said two caravans and a 4 X 4 vehicle were seized from the halting site due to a suspicion that they were stolen.

Gardaí have sent the rifle and shotgun - both of which were believed to have been stolen and held illegally - to the State Laboratory Ireland for analysis to establish if they had been used in the commission of offences.

Yesterday’s search operation included specialist Garda units including the ERU and the Garda Dog Unit as well as members of the Customs and Revenue Service who tested several cars and vans for illegal diesel.