Four men charged following Athlone attacks

Gardaí arrest two more in connection with assaults on taxi driver and shopkeeper

Gardaí investigating two violent incidents in the Athlone on Wednesday have charged four men, all under the age of 18, in relation to the attacks.

The four will appear before a special sitting of Mullingar District Coutt on the August 7th next.

The news follows an earlier announcement that gardaí had made further arrests in connection with the incidents.

In one of these incidents, a taxi driver aged in his 70s was stabbed repeatedly and robbed by two male teenagers in the early hours of Tuesday morning.


Separately, three armed teenagers entered a shop at 5.45pm later the same day and assaulted a member of staff, also aged in his 70s.

Gardaí had arrested three suspects on Wednesday and they were taken to Athlone Garda station for questioning.

A further two were arrested in follow-up operations on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

One of the three youths arrested on Wednesday has been released without charge.


It is believed there may be a connection between the two incidents.

In the first of the two incidents, which took place at approximately 1.30am on Wednesday, the taxi driver collected the two teenagers on Church Street and drove them to Bloomfield Drive, where he was threatened and assaulted.

At some point in the journey the passengers produced what appeared to be knives and demanded that the driver hand over cash.

The driver attempted to reach for the intercom to summon help but was immediately stabbed in the hand.

His seat belt was twisted up around his neck to restrain him and he was beaten and repeatedly prodded with the knife as the pair screamed at him to hand over his money.

His watch was also taken in the incident.

His injuries, which included about 30 puncture wounds to his face and neck, were treated at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe, Co Galway, from where he was later discharged.

Shopkeeper assaulted

In the second incident, three youths armed with a firearm and an iron bar entered a shop on Ballymahon Road at approximately 5.45pm, where they threatened and assaulted the shopkeeper.

The injured man was taken to Portiuncula Hospital, where he was treated for head injuries. He was later discharged.

Gardaí are continuing to appeal for anyone with information to contact Athlone Garda station at 090-6498550 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666111.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times