Gardaí say families' dispute linked to Askeaton shooting


A DISPUTE between two families in a small Co Limerick town has escalated following a shooting incident in which a gunman opened fire on three men sitting in a parked car.

The shooting took place on a public street in the rural town of Askeaton shortly after 10.15pm on Wednesday.

The three men were sitting in a car at the quays beside the river Deel in the centre of the town, when a dark vehicle pulled up beside them and a man armed with a shotgun fired a single shot into the parked car.

The three men got out and fled on foot, but were pursued by the gunman who fired a second shot before losing them in a nearby housing estate.

Two of the men suffered minor pellet wounds to the head and hands, but were treated by ambulance personnel and did not require hospital treatment.

According to gardaí, the shooting is linked to a local dispute between two families in the area and follows an incident last Saturday in which a man was assaulted.

Two men, aged 18 and 26, were arrested in Shannon, Co Clare, yesterday afternoon in connection with the shooting. They were taken to Henry Street Garda station in Limerick where they were being held for questioning last night under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

Locals in the quiet town of Askeaton spent yesterday digesting news of the shooting.

Visiting priest Fr John Madigan, who grew up in Askeaton but now lives in Seattle in the US, appealed for calm.

“My wish always is that people could forgive and move on, and you wish an assault wouldn’t lead to something worse like a shooting,” he said. “You hate to hear something like that coming into the little town that you grew up in and I’m very sad to hear it. It feels like it’s a reality in our world today.”

The scene where the shooting took place was sealed off for a full technical examination. Gardaí have appealed for witnesses to contact Askeaton Garda station on 061-601 630.