Local people had expressed concern about noise from house in Mountmellick
Gardaí have used force to gain access to a house in Co Laois where a stand-off with a man armed with a knife had been ongoing since just before midday. A Taser gun was used to subdue the man.
Members of the force broke through the front door of the property in Mountmellick at 3.15pm after negotiation failed to bring the tense stand-off to an end.
Gardaí began receiving calls early this morning from local people who were concerned at shouting and loud noises coming from a house on Wolfe Tone Street in the town.
The man at the centre of the incident is a 34-year-old who local people believe is originally from Dublin. He has a history of mental illness.
Gardaí are working on the theory that he became distressed this morning and was making the sounds coming from the house that resulted in the alarm being raised.
The man declined to come out of the property or to answer the door when the first gardaí arrived on the scene just before noon. He then barricaded himself into the house.
Gardaí sealed off a portion of the street around the property, and using negotiators, attempted to gain the man’s cooperation with a view to bringing the incident to a safe conclusion.
While the man was alone in the house and gardaí were satisfied he did not have access to firearms, they believed he was armed with a knife and were concerned he may harm himself.
Some of the local people who contacted gardaí said they heard the man shouting threats of violence from the property while in a distressed state.
After a tense stand-off lasting almost four hours, gardaí broke their way through the hall door of the property as an ambulance was moved into place just outside the house.
The gardaí remained in the house for about one hour during which time a Taser gun was used to subdue the man. Gardaí then left the property with the man at about 4.15pm. Sources said the man was not under arrest but had been taken for medical treatment.