Gardai and troops in hunt for INLA man
Wexford and the surrounding rural district has been virtually under siege since the weekend as heavily-armed Gardaí and troops search for INLA gunman Dominic McGlinchey and his gang.
The searches began even before McGlinchey was positively identified as a front seat passenger in a car stopped by three Gardaí in Enniscorthy shortly after 11 p.m. on Saturday night.
Earlier in the day, detectives armed with handguns and sub-machine guns searched all thirty-eight houses in the Walnut Grove estate near the County Hospital.
Included in the gang is a local businessman who was driving the car stopped in Enniscorthy. He has been on the run since then, but detectives are convinced he is in the Wexford area, having been spotted here on Monday night, some twelve hours after the gang’s Datsun Bluebird car was found in a river at Dolla, Co. Tipperary.
McGlinchey is reported to have been spotted in a Wexford pub on Friday night, in the company of the local man, and this piece of information is believed to have sparked off the check of the Walnut Grove estate on Saturday.
However, the Gardaí say they cannot confirm this, and would only say that they searched Walnut Grove for ‘dangerous armed criminals’.
A spokesman at the Wexford Garda Station headquarters also said that the public should exercise extreme caution if they came across the gang.
‘These are very dangerous men and they are heavily armed with assorted weapons,’ he said, adding ‘one of them has publicly confessed to having taken part in thirty murders’.
Road blocks were set up around Wexford town shortly after 1 a.m. on Sunday when the three Gardaí kidnapped by the gang in Enniscorthy managed to free themselves.
Wexford detectives and uniformed gardaí were immediately aided by troops from Kilkenny Army Barracks, and at first light on Sunday, a search of eighty-three acres of forest at The Raven, Curracloe, got under way.
Houses and holiday homes in the area were also scrutinised, but nothing was found.
Meanwhile, detectives armed with sub-machine guns have also been keeping an eye on Rosslare Harbour and all other harbours in the county, in case the gang or individual members try to escape by sea.
Detectives and troops have also mounted searches of the homes of known Republican sympathisers, and dozens of homes were visited on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.
The Garda spokesman said that the searches would continue until there is a breakthrough.
The gang now on the run includes a woman believed to be McGlinchey’s wife Mary, who is said to be in the late stages of pregnancy. And because of that, the police believe the gang is probably holed up in a house or outhouse rather than an open or wooded area. There is no truth to rumours that McGlinchey’s wife is in the County Hospital.