Armed siege ends

A tense stand off involving an armed man who barricaded himself in his home ended tonight.

A tense stand off involving an armed man who barricaded himself in his home ended tonight.

Almost 24 hours after the man, in his 40s locked himself inside the house in Gort, County Galway, with two shotguns he voluntarily walked out.

Gardaí said the man, who was from the town, fired a number of rounds as he left the house at 8.20pm.

Armed officers returned fire with non lethal weapons and he was hit a number of times with beanbag rounds.

Around 50 gardaí had been drafted into the town throughout the day as officers surrounded the house at the centre of the siege which began at 11.30pm on Sunday.

After a day-long series of efforts by the man’s brother, local officers and trained experts, the man agreed to make contact at around 6pm.

Following two and a half hours of delicate negotiations the man agreed to walk out of the house, but he was armed with a shotgun and opejned fire.

The Garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU), who had been at the scene for much of the day returned fire.

The man was taken to Galway University Hospital but his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

The incident began late on Sunday night after the man apparently had a row with his wife.

Several shots were fired from the house when officers arrived, hitting two patrol cars and knocking out a street light.

No one was injured in the attacks.

The man’s wife and two children left the house a short while later and when gardaí arrived a stand-off developed.

Nearby roads in the housing estate were sealed off and around 100 neighbours evacuated from the area.

Gardaí said the man’s behaviour was “completely out of character”.

Gardaí confirmed the man was hit by one live round by a Garda sniper.

He was hit in the shoulder but it is understood he is in a stable condition in hospital.

Officers fired four “beanbag” – non-lethal ammunition – rounds at the man as he burst out of the house firing his shotgun.

But these failed to stop him.

An officer from the ERU armed with a rifle shot the man.

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