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Tuesday, 5th November 2019

Fatal shooting in Bettystown part of Drogheda drugs feud

Front Page

The burnt out van at Eastham Road.

The 39-year-old man who was shot at Castlemartin Drive in Bettystown last night has yet to be officially identified but it is thought that the shooting was linked to the ongoing feud in the greater Drogheda area.

The scene was sealed off all morning as Garda scene of crime investigators carried out technical and forensic examinations.

If this incident is confirmed to be feud related it will be the just the latest in a long litany of violent incidents stretching back to July 2018 and further.

There have been many calls of late for Garda resources to be increased in the Dogheda/East Meath area.

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Senator Ged Nash said: "Last night’s fatal shooting is a stark reminder that this feud which has plagued the Drogheda area for well over a year is very much still active.

“It is absolutely vital that there is no let-up in the resources being diverted to deal with this issue, and that funding to support the relentless work of the Gardai in tacking these gangs is not only retained, but beefed up.

“We must also ensure that the local Louth and Meath Garda divisions continue to work closely together in tackling the feud” he added.

It is believed that the victim of this latest shooting was shot as he was getting out of his car after he arrived home. His assailants made off in a white van which was found burned out a few hundred yards away at Eastham Road. Neighbours in the area were too shocked to speak to media.

The scene of the shooting at Castlemartin Drive, Bettystown.

Local Councillor Sharon Tolan has been in touch with Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan who told her that every effort will be made to bring this lawlessness to an end. She called for extra resources to be drafted in immediately.

Sinn Féin TD Deputy Gerry Adams said: “This was a disgraceful action. It is the latest violence in a drugs war between criminal gangs that has shocked and outraged citizens in Louth.

"I would ask anyone with information to bring that forward to An Garda Síochána. I would also urge the Minister for Justice to review Garda resourcing within Louth to ensure that An Garda Síochána has the resources needed to tackle the drug gangs.”

In the wake of this latest shooting, the Drogheda City Status Group have reiterated their assertion that Drogheda’s Garda numbers do not reflect the size of Ireland’s sixth largest urban centre and the rapid population growth in the Greater Drogheda area.

The Group also expressed concern that the proposed new Garda Divisional structure fragments the natural catchment area of Drogheda with Laytown, Bettystown and Mornington being part of the Ashbourne District 15 miles away – rather than nearby Drogheda.   

"In turn, the Ashbourne District will report to a new Divisional HQ to be located in Mullingar and that Division will report to senior management in Galway" which, the City Status Group said, is illogical.

Gardaí have appealed for any witnesses, particularly anyone who may have dash-cam footage, to contact Ashbourne Garda Station on 01-801 0600, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

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The burnt out van.

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