“These people are the Escobars of Ireland,” was how the Chairman of Longford Town Municipal Area described the factions involved in an ongoing feud in the town.
Cllr Seamus Butler told RTE radio’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show that he objected to use of word feud, he said “these are criminal actions - to call it a feud is a misnomer.
“We do not want Longford defined by this.”
Cllr Butler called on the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) and Revenue Commissioners to become involved. "They don't fear prison, they fear getting their ill-gotten gains taken from them. These are the Escobars of Ireland."
Mediator Micheál O'Herlihy agreed that the actions in Longford were criminality, but he claimed that mediation would help the criminals understand that there is a path out of the current situation, “when they realise they’ve got themselves in a corner and the only way out is death. That would be needless and senseless.
“There is a need to change the paradigm.”
Cllr Butler also claimed that the people involved in the feud in Longford had ties to the Kinahan gang in Dublin.
“There is big money here.”
He said he had never seen a business model that offered the gains seen in Longford with large houses and expensive cars. The local authority also has a role to play in pursuing the high walls, cages and CCTV that had been erected around some of these large homes without permission.
“The wealth is so ostentatious that you couldn’t help but know the people involved.”
Cllr Butler added that he hoped a situation would not occur as had happened in Dundalk where “an innocent person had to get killed before extra resources were committed.
“We need foot patrols, for their presence to be seen on the streets. That would be a psychological boost for the people of the town.”