A senior Garda has stressed that public safety was at all times of paramount importance during what he described as a ‘significent incident’ during a ‘very dangerous night’, which resulted in a fatal shooting and a siege in Bailieborough overnight.
A man (56) was arrested in the town at 3.20am on Friday morning when he emerged from the rear of ‘The Square Bar’ at Main Street after the nine-hour siege. He is currently being held at Bailieborough Garda Station. A firearm was recovered at the scene and will now be subjected to ballistics tests. It emerged that during the stand-off at the pub, no shots were fired.
Garda Superintendent David Taylor was giving details of how the siege unfolded - he said that at 6pm yesterday evening (Thursday) an investigation was launched after relatives of the dead woman, including her sister, called to Bailieboro Garda Station concerned that they had been unable to contact the victim since earlier that day.
“Gardai then commenced their enquiries and went to a licenced premises, The Square Bar,” said the superintendent. “When they entered the pub at approximately 7pm a 56-year-old male emerged from the basement and brandished a firearm, threatening the gardai,” he explained.
Gardai then immediately withdrew and managed to evacuate the premises of any patrons and staff in the interests of public safety. A short time later gardai went to 31 Drumbannon, Bailieborough, where they conducted a forced entry at the house there.
“On entering the house gardai discovered the body of a 54-year-old female with an obvious gunshot wound," said Supt Taylor. At this point that scene was sealed off and the State Pathologist notified. Dr Marie Cassidy arrived there this morning (Friday, September 6) where she conducted a preliminary examination of the scene. The body was later removed for post mortem to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda. A family liaison officer has been appointed to help the family of the dead woman.
Supt Taylor added that what occcurred at the ‘The Square Pub’ was designated a critical incident.
“A crisis management team was put in place. The assistance of specialist units was sought, including trained negotiators and intervention teams.” He also stressed that the protection and preservation of life by An Garda Siochana was the overriding policy during this siege.
He then explained how the seige ended. “At approximately 3.20 this morning a man emerged from the rear of the pub and was arrested under the provisions of Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act. The public house has been sealed off for techinical examination.”
Gardai are seeking information from anybody who may have seen any suspicious or unusual activity at Drumbannon, Bailieborough, between 10am and 7pm on Thursday. They are also anxious to talk to anybody who may have been in the Square Bar between 4pm and 7pm. An incident Room has been set up at Bailieborough Garda Station, which can be contacted at 042 699 4570 or via Garda Confidential Telephone number at 1800 666 111.
“A number of people have already come forward and have been extremely helpful in our investigations,” revealed the top Garda officer.
He concluded by thanking the people of Bailieborough, who had, he said, endured significient disruption to their lives and to the life of the town. He also thanked the media for adhering to a media blackout overnight necessary for operational reasons which was imposed during the course of the incident.
“This was critical in order to bring this matter to a resolution,” he concluded.
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