Hurling fan with rifle in bizarre stand-off with soldiers in street
By Cormac Byrne
Monday September 06 2010
AN armed man was arrested after a stand-off outside the Four Courts involving an army patrol jeep.
The man, believed to be a Kilkenny hurling supporter, launched a bizarre protest on the road at Inn’s Quay early yesterday, stopping traffic and confronting soldiers and gardai.
Soldiers on a routine patrol were driving along the quays when they came across the man blocking traffic and acting in a threatening manner. It is understood that the 44-year-old man parked his jeep in the middle of the road across all lanes before emerging from his car in the early hours of yesterday.
One of the soldiers spotted what he believed to be a firearm stashed in the man’s 4x4 vehicle and immediately contacted gardai.
The army unit kept a close eye on the situation before gardai arrived on the scene and attempted to bring calm to the situation.
They managed to talk the man down and in a subsequent examination of the man’s vehicle a rifle was discovered.
Gardai have awaiting the results of a toxicology report to determine if the middle-aged man was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the incident.
The incident took place on Inn’s Quay near the Four Courts at 4.10am yesterday.
A number of motorists are understood to have witnessed the incident.
Gardai are understood to have taken statements from a number of the innocent motorists caught up in the incident.
The man is still being quizzed at the Bridewell Garda Station today as detectives try to establish a motive for his actions.
A Garda spokesperson confirmed that the man was arrested and a firearm was recovered from the scene. He is being held under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.
The rifle in the incident is to undergo ballistic examination by officers at the Garda Technical Bureau.
The area surrounding the Four Courts and Inns Quay is heavily surveyed by CCTV cameras and gardai are hopeful that the footage can shed some light on what exactly provoked the man.
- Cormac Byrne