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A family affair

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

A long standing dispute between two Mullingar families spilled over into violence — including an alleged gas attack and assaults by balaclava-wearing thugs — as opposing factions attacked a number of houses in the D’Alton park area of the town.

The Westmeath Examiner reports that over three nights, violence flared as five homes were targeted and while nobody was serious injured, some residents have moved out through fear.

According to Gardai, the violence broke out after members of the feuding families confronted each other at a drinking establishment in the town center. Gardai received reports of a serious assault and when officers arrived, they discovered a form of noxious gas had been activated.

One person had allegedly been assaulted with a bottle and Gardai confirmed that at least two people, both of whom are believed to be related, were later treated in a local hospital for their injuries.

The public house confrontation is believed to have been the spark which rekindled the long running differences and shortly after 1.35 a.m. the next morning, three houses came under attack. Doors, windows and frames were smashed and broken. It was clear that slash hooks had been used as the frames were hacked and severely damaged, one garda told the paper.

In one house, the occupants barricaded themselves into a bedroom after the assailants used a crowbar to break into the house. That family managed to kept their attackers at bay.

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The next night a group of men, some wearing balaclavas, attacked a another dwelling in what gardai describe as a retaliatory action. One witness later claimed to investigating officers that one man had fired shots at the house as the gang were retreating.

Another two assaults took place shortly after that. Despite Gardai pursuit, the culprits managed to flee the area.

Stripped and scrubbed

Talk about a brush with the law.

Two men who stripped another man naked in a Carrick pub and used a yardbrush with water to scrub him during an early morning incident were each convicted on assault charges by a local judge at Carrickmacross Court recently, according to the Northern Standard newspaper.

Frank Lambe, who the court heard had previous convictions, was fined _300 for an assault on Oliver O’Hanlon. Another man, Noel Hand, was fined _150 on a similar charge.

The publican, Martin McGahon of Stable Enterprises, Carrickmacross, where the incident occurred had charges of aiding and abetting dismissed, but was fined _150 for a breach of the licensing laws.

The court heard that Lambe and Hand stripped O’Hanlon naked and used a yard-brush to wash him down. He was later stopped by gardai around 5 a.m. walking home naked.

The judge called the incident a “very serious assault” which was obviously the result of a prank that went “too far.”

German jailed

A German national has been sentenced to a four-year sentence recently after pleading guilty to shooting a Cavan County registrar and two bailiffs after they had tried to evict his dying elderly mother from her home.

According to the Anglo Celt newspaper, Gerrit Jan Jochem Isenborger had been given a four-year suspended sentence in the Dublin Circuit Court when he pleaded guilty to shooting Tommy Owens. Isenborger also pleaded guilty in relation to the shooting of two bailiffs and was given concurrent sentences.

Weeks before his stand-off with officials, the German had written to the then President, Mary Robinson, Taoiseach, John Bruton as well as two government ministers asking them to intervene and allow his mother to die in peace.

Owens said following the trial that “It is only right that he (Isenborger) and people like him go to jail so society in general can be protected.”

The Sheriff remembered being shot in the elbow. “The bullet had hit me from behind. Luckily it had exploded outwards and blew a large hole in my coat. If it had exploded in the other direction it would have killed me.”

“I take the view that a criminal trial is not revenge and think that Mr. Isenborger has gone to jail because people who shoot people cannot get away with it.”

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