Three men arrested and weapons seized over threats on social media

Gardaí are investigating whether threats are related to machete attack in Co Fermanagh

Gardaí in Athlone are investigating a number of threats to kill or do serious harm to people which have been made on social media in recent days. File photograph: Getty Images/Flickr RF

Gardaí in Athlone are investigating a number of threats to kill or do serious harm to people which have been made on social media in recent days. File photograph: Getty Images/Flickr RF

 

Gardaí in Athlone have arrested three people as part of an investigation into a number of threats to kill or do serious harm to people which have been made on social media in recent days.

Gardaí are examining whether the threats are related to a recent machete attack in Co Fermanagh which saw a 13-year-old girl hospitalised after protecting her 11-month-old nephew during the assault.

In a statement, the Garda said members of the force from Athlone on Thursday morning conducted a number of planned searches in the area, during which three men from the locality were arrested.

The searches were aimed at recovering weapons displayed in social media videos and media devices used to make the videos, gardaí said.

A number of electronic devices and weapons were seized during the searches.

Gardaí said two of the men arrested were in their 20s, with another in his late 40s. The men were being detained at Mullingar and Athlone Garda stations under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.

“Gardaí in Athlone are liaising with the PSNI in relation to the persons arrested and the social media videos as may be connected to a recent serious incident in Co Fermanagh, which is under investigation by the PSNI,” the Garda statement said.

The 13-year-old girl was hospitalised after a number of men armed with machetes broke into her house in Lisnaskea on Saturday evening. She sustained serious stab wounds and was in a critical but stable condition after the attack.

A relative of the girl told BBC Northern Ireland that she had thrown herself over her baby nephew during the attack, saving his life. The attack was condemned by community leaders and local politicians, as well as the PSNI.