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Disturbing series of events in Roscommon

The violent events that took place in Co Roscommon in recent days are just part of a wider set of circumstances which are rightly raising serious concerns.

Gardaí are investigating after eight security guards were injured and a guard dog killed at an incident at a house and farm at Falsk on Sunday, with a number of vehicles also burnt out after a group of men stormed the premises.

The weekend violence came after the rural property was repossessed last Tuesday.

Videos showing the forced eviction of two elderly brothers and a sister had been posted online, sparking an angry response from people in the county.

Security guards, some of whom are believed to have Northern Irish accents, are shown removing the family, with one man resisting the eviction injured and bleeding from his mouth.

The private security firm is believed to have been hired by a bank and had been occupying the house since the repossession.

Then, in the early hours of Sunday, it is reported that a mob of men arrived at the house and removed the front and back door with a chainsaw.

Following the attack, three of the security guards needed hospital treatment.

It is also believed that roads in and out of the property had been blocked with bales of hay, making it difficult for emergency services to attend the scene.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has condemned Sunday's incident, saying it seemed to be a 'highly organised, highly violent vigilante attack.'

This was clearly a sinister and terrifying onslaught for which there can be no justification.

But there will also be concerns over the manner of the initial eviction and the bank involved must be prepared to answer questions.

The eviction of elderly people from their home just days before Christmas is obviously quite distressing but it is important the full facts around this action are disclosed.

This has been a deeply disturbing episode on a number of levels, raising issues that need to be addressed.

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