A tense stand-off was continuing tonight as gardaí opened negotiations with an armed man who barricaded himself in his home in Gort, Co Galway.
After a day-long series of efforts by the man’s brother, local officers and trained experts, the man agreed to make contact.
A garda chief negotiator is at the scene and has spoken to the man while a local priest and doctors are also on hand.
Around 50 gardaí were drafted into the town throughout the day as gardaí surrounded the house at the centre of the siege which began at 11.30pm on Sunday.
Superintendent Kevin Donohoe, head of the Garda Press Office, said whatever contact or assistance the man needed, he would be given.
And he said officers were treating the situation with great care.
“From our point of view we would certainly ask him if he is listening or watching that we are absolutely anxious to resolve this incident peacefully,” the Superintendent said.
“We will deal with it as we have done, in a very sensitive way. We have absolutely no gameplan to forcibly enter the house.”
Several shots were fired from the house on Crowe Street, after gardaí were called to the estate.
It is understood the man had a row with his wife before officers arrived. But gardaí insisted they were not aware of any motive for the man’s behaviour.
One shot was fired inside the home and when gardai arrived the man fired at them a number of times hitting two patrol cars and knocking out a street light. No-one was injured in the attacks.
It is understood the man is armed with two legally held shotguns.
The garda Emergency Response Unit, Air Unit, dog teams and an ambulance crew have all been called to the town and remain on standby.