Gardaí used Taser gun to subdue man after four-hour knife stand-off in Co Laois

Man at centre of Mountmellick siege has history of mental illness

Gardaí storm in to a house in Wolfe Tone Street, Mountmellick, Co Laois, where the man barricaded himself in. Photograph: James Flynn/APX

Gardaí storm in to a house in Wolfe Tone Street, Mountmellick, Co Laois, where the man barricaded himself in. Photograph: James Flynn/APX

 


Gardaí used force to gain access to a house where a stand-off with a man armed with a knife had been ongoing for four hours. A Taser gun was used to subdue the man.

Members of the force broke through the front door of the mid-terrace property in Mountmellick, Co Laois, at 3.15pm yesterday after negotiations failed to bring the tense encounter to a peaceful end.

It is understood the man’s father rents the house and is an occasional visitor to the area.


‘Agitated state’
When gardaí

arrived there was a single male occupant in the house who was clearly under stress when communicating with officers, said Supt Yvonne Lundon.

“The man was on his own in the house and he was in a rather agitated state. So we had to at all times be sure of his safety; that was our primary concern,” she said. “He’s unharmed and he is now receiving medical treatment. He is not under arrest.”

Gardaí began receiving calls in the morning from local people concerned at shouting and loud noise coming from a house on Wolfe Tone Street in the town.

The man at the centre of the incident is a 34-year-old who locals believe is originally from Dublin.

He has a history of mental illness, according to the Garda.

Gardaí are working on the theory that he became distressed and made the sounds that came from the house which resulted in the alarm being raised. The man declined to come out of the property or to answer the door when the first gardaí arrived on the scene just before noon. He then barricaded himself into the house.

Trained Garda negotiators were used and members of the armed regional response unit, which specialise in siege incidents, were also called to the scene.


No firearms
Officers sealed off a portion of the street around the property and evacuated some neighbouring houses.

While the man was alone in the house and gardaí were satisfied he did not have access to firearms, they believed he was armed with a knife and were concerned he could have harmed himself.

Some of the local people who contacted gardaí said they heard the man shouting threats of violence from the property while in a distressed state. After the tense stand-off, gardaí forced entry as an ambulance was moved into place just outside the house.

The officers remained in the house for about one hour during which time the Taser gun was used to subdue the man. Gardaí then left the property with the man at about 4.15pm.

Sources said the man had been taken for medical treatment.