herald

Saturday 21 April 2018

Woman shot in shop

A woman working in a shop has been shot by a lone gunman.

The middle-aged victim was seriously injured when she was targeted in a store on Main Street, Balla, Co Mayo, at about 6.30pm.

The suspect - who is also middle-aged - was later arrested in the Claremorris area.

The shotgun used in the incident was recovered.

Gardai are trying to establish a motive for the gun attack in the quiet rural town.

It is understood both the man and woman are Irish and live in the area.

The victim, who is believed to be in her 50s, was taken to Mayo General Hospital. Her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

A Garda spokesman said the scene has been preserved pending a full technical examination.

"Gardai are appealing for witnesses to contact the incident room at Castlebar Garda station," he said.

The woman was named locally as Dympna Walsh, a separated mother with grown-up children.

She had worked in the Costcutter supermarket in Balla for a number of years and was described as a friendly lady.

Stunned locals said both the man and woman were well-known and liked.

"We just can't understand what happened," said one.

The suspect, who is in his 40s, is detained at Castlebar Garda station, where he can be questioned for up to three days under Section 30 of the Offences against the State Act.

Councillor Cyril Burke said: "It's unbelievable. People in the area are shocked that something like this could happen in their community in the evening in the middle of the week.

"When you hear of something like this, you think of a robbery."

© Press Association

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