Gunman in pub stand-off with Gardaí

Published Friday, 06 September 2013
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A 56-year-old man is being questioned about the beating and murder of a mother-of-four, which resulted in an armed stand-off with Gardaí in a town in Co Cavan.

Gunman in pub stand-off with Gardaí
Garda forensic officers search the Square Bar in Market Street, Bailieborough (© PA)

Specialist Gardaí negotiators had to be called in to deal with the siege which lasted for nine hours in Bailieborough.

It began on Thursday evening as police investigated the report of a missing woman, reportedly from west Belfast, which was made by her sister.

As part of their investigations, Gardaí went to The Square Bar at around 7pm and were confronted by a man, believed to be the missing woman's estranged husband, who brandished a firearm and threatened officers.

No hostages were taken.

The pub was immediately evacuated and the area sealed off.

Shortly after police forced entry to a house in the Drumbannon area of the town and discovered the body of the missing woman.

She has been named locally as Patricia Kierans and is believed to originally be from the Ballymurphy area of west Belfast.

The body of the 54-year-old was removed from the scene and examined by the Irish State Pathologist before a post-mortem in a Drogheda hospital.

It is believed she was assaulted and shot a number of times.

Gardaí immediately withdrew and evacuated the pub of the patrons and staff for public safety.

Superintendent David Taylor

Throughout the night and into the early hours of Friday morning Gardaí mounted a major security operation in the town.

The pub where the man had barricaded himself was designated a "crisis incident" and specialist units, including skilled negotiators and intervention units were drafted in for support.

The man was arrested just after 3am on Friday after he surrendered and emerged from the rear of the pub.

No shots were fired and the man is being held on suspicion of murder.

He can be questioned for up to seven days.

Forensic teams have been called to examine the scene at the woman's house and at the licensed premises.

Gardaí have appealed for witnesses that may have been in the Drumbannon housing estate or the pub on Thursday and may have seen anything unusual or suspicious to come forward.

They said that throughout the incident the protection and preservation of life was "the fundamental goal" of their operation.

A media blackout on reporting the incident was put in place for the duration of the siege.

© UTV News
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