18 May 2022

Man (20s) arrested over alleged stabbing inside Longford fast food restaurant


The scene outside Luigis this afternoon

A man in his 20s is in garda custody tonight after being arrested in connection to an alleged stabbing in Longford town earlier today which left another man in hospital.

He was arrested by officers investigating the circumstances behind an incident at a fast food restaurant along the county town's main street at around 3pm today.

The male victim, who is aged in his early 20s, was attacked inside the doors of Luigis on main street at around 3pm.

The man, who is from the Longford town area, sustained a number of wounds to his upper body and face during the incident.

Two ambulances, gardaí and members from the Armed Support Unit (ASU) arrived on the scene in minutes.

A number of eye witnesses and bystanders gathered outside as paramedics tended to the stricken man inside for several minutes before being taken to Mullingar's Midland Regional Hospital for treatment.

The restaurant’s owner Peter Vocella could be seen wiping away blood from his arms after rushing to the aid of the man inside.

Giving his reaction outside, he said the incident underlined the growing level of unease which was very much evident in a town which has succumbed to an ever increasing rise in feud related incidents over the past number of weeks.

“I am 30 years and I have never seen it as bad as this,” he said. 

“I can’t help this, I always done my best (as a businessperson).

A number of members of the victim’s family attended the scene soon afterwards, some of whom became visibility upset in the process.

One eyewitness told of how two men could be seen grappling seconds before the victim attempted to flee in behind the restaurant’s counter to escape his alleged assailant.

“I was up at the counter ordering a meal for my friend and next thing all of a sudden these two boys came in,” he said. 

“There was a man with the lad that got stabbed and next thing these two boys came in and said ‘take it out of your pocket’. 

“He didn’t say it was a knife and the next thing the man went for him. He went for him outside and then the man (victim) ran under the counter to get away from him and he followed him in.”

The male suspect, who detectives arrested and brought to Granard garda station, is currently being held under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and can be held for a period of 24 hours.

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