Man arrested in connection with last month’s shooting

Gardaí in Athlone have arrested and detained a man in his 30s in relation to a shooting in the town last month.

The man was arrested in the Athlone area on Monday, December 18, following a month of intensive investigation and searches.

On Saturday night, November 18, a man in his 20s was shot in the leg after several shots were fired at Grace Park Road. Injured, he made it to a supermarket on Castlemaine street where emergency services were alerted. After treatment in Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore, he was released the following day.

The victim is understood to be from Roscommon with some links to Athlone.

Gardaí arrested two juvenile males in the days after the incident, both from the local area. One was released without charge and a file was prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions. The other, a 17 year old boy, was charged with unlawful use of a firearm, reckless discharge of a firearm, and with handling of stolen property. The boy cannot be named for legal reasons.

He appeared in Longford Circuit Court on Tuesday, November 21, and was remanded on bail to appear before the court again on February 7, 2018.

Since the incident, Gardaí had been searching for a third, adult male believed to have been working together with the two juveniles. After the arrest on Monday, the individual was detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act, 1939.

The Chief Superintendent extended the man’s detention period by a further 24 hours on Tuesday night, and he has not yet been charged at time of writing.

Following multiple searches of houses in the Athlone area, the firearm used in the incident - believed to be some kind of centrefire rifle - has not been located. The Garda investigation into the incident is still ongoing.

Gardaí in Athlone are appealing to anyone who may have seen or heard anything on the night of the incident to come forward with any information they might have, no matter how insignificant. They have asked any witnesses to contact Athlone Garda Station on (090 ) 6492609.

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