Gardai are examining whether a fire which gutted a house on the outskirts of Edgeworthstown last week was caused by a Traveller related feud.
Forensic teams are this week sifting through the charred remains of the two storey premises at Tinnynarr after smoke was seen bellowing from it shortly after midnight last Wednesday (September 25).
A number of fire crews from the local area attended the scene and managed to bring the fire under control, but were unable to save the house which was completely gutted as a result.
Its owners were not at home and out of the country at the time.
Such was the scale of the blaze and severity of damage caused gardai are, for the time being, keeping an open mind as to what may have caused the fire.
One line of inquiry being explored is the possibility the fire was the result of a revenge attack involving two Traveller families.
Ten days earlier, three people sustained stab wounds arising from an incident that took place outside Glennon’s Funeral Home, along Longford town’s main Ballinalee Road.
Tensions spilled over again just a few hours later outside Mullingar’s Midland Regional Hospital, resulting in several gardai having to be called in.
Five men arrested in the immediate aftermath of those clashes appeared in court the following day and were ordered to leave the country.
Senior detectives are now trying to establish if last week’s Edgeworthstown fire is in any way linked to the scenes witnessed in Longford and Mullingar a week and a half earlier.
The results of forensic tests carried out at the scene and in the days since, will play a vital role in determining what direction any potential criminal investigation takes.
With the likelihood of the fire having started via irregular means, officers are hoping key information will come from eye witnesses and members of the public.
As such, gardai have launched an appeal for information. Witnesses are asked to contact either Edgeworthstown (043) 6671002 or Granard Garda Stations (043) 6686512.