herald

Friday 17 November 2017

Bloodbath fears at hospital as stab pair are treated

The injured men were taken to Sligo University Hospital
The injured men were taken to Sligo University Hospital

Armed gardai are on high alert at one of the country's busiest hospitals amid fears of a bloodbath after a 42-year-old man was stabbed 11 times by an associate.

The 39-year-old suspected of launching the attack and an innocent 40-year-old woman were also stabbed.

Both men are members of the local Traveller community.

The mayhem broke out in a house in Crozon Park, Sligo, soon after midnight on Sunday.

The 42-year-old man suffered multiple stab wounds to the back, the neck and right arm.

Mayhem

His alleged attacker was arr- ested at the scene and taken to Ballymote Garda Station, but was released from custody when it became apparent that he was injured.

He was taken to Sligo University Hospital by armed gardai, where he and his alleged male victim were still being treated last night.

A garda conducted CPR on one of the victims when he arrived at the scene.

"This was a scene of absolute mayhem," a source said last night. "Someone could easily have been killed".

Officers remain on high alert over fears that either man may be attacked in retaliation. The knife used in the attack has been sent for forensic analysis.

Gardai believe the incident happened after the two men consumed a large quantity of poitin.

The Herald can reveal that up to six gardai are on patrol at the hospital at any one time for fear of further violence.

"Both men have a number of associates living in Ireland and the UK and the concern is that there could be further trouble," said a source.

Gardai said the officers who attended the incident had their safety jeopardised because of the lack of an armed response unit in Sligo. The nearest armed unit is based in Ballyshannon, 42km away.

"The fact of the matter is that we don't have the resources a town the size of Sligo needs," said a source.

The two men are expected to be questioned on their release.

Gardai are concerned about an ongoing feud between Traveller gangs in the north-west and have been forced to attend a number of incidents in recent months.

Sources said tensions among local Travellers have been strained since a member of the community was brutally murdered about 10 years ago.

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