THERE was been a heavy visible Garda presence in a Clarecastle estate over the the Easter weekend as armed units from Limerick monitored the troublespot.
The gardaí were responding to the latest incident that involves one house in the estate, which culminated in a fire early on Good Friday morning. No-one was injured in the fire which was attended by local fire services and no real damage was reported.
The suspicious fire, which gardaí are investigating is the latest in a series of incidents that has greatly concerned local residents, incidents that have seen a house and car damaged on more than one occasion. There have also been reports of men armed with slash hooks and other weapons around the house in question on different occasions over the past four weeks.
“It is ridiculous what’s going on,” a concerned resident who called the offices of The Clare People, told us: “One or two nights cars have driven into this lovely quiet estate with the lights off and men with balaclavas got out and smashed windows and attacked a car,” she said.
Gardaí have acknowledged there is an ongoing issue in the estate and have confirmed that they are keeping a presence in the area to ensure the situation doesn’t escalate.
“The windows of this house have been smashed in a couple of times now and windscreens of cars have been done as well. There are children in the house and someone is going to be seriously hurt if this is allowed to go on,” the caller told us.
One neighbour who also didn’t want to be identified said that the house has been subject to a number of late night attacks over the past few months.
“There are children in this house and on more than one occasion we have all been woken up by screaming as a group of men arrived to the house. They are in and out in minutes, breaking windows and shouting and roaring. We’ve called the Guards and in fairness they are here in no time, but the men are gone as quick,” she said.
“The windows in this house and the door is no sooner replaced than there’s another incident, always at night. I’ve seen the weapons. We are definitely frightened this doesn’t get rightly out of hand, someone could be killed,” she added.
Over the Easter weekend there were a number of Garda cars parked in the estate at various times and an emergency response unit from Limerick also parked at the entrance to the estate.
The incidents are not thought to be related to another ongoing feud within the town of Ennis.

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Emmet Moloney has previously worked with The Kerryman and Irish Farmers' Journal. He joined The Clare People in November 2010. Contact Emmet on [email protected]

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