Tuesday, October 10, 2006


"A SIEGE gunman was fighting for his life in hospital early today after a tense 22-hour stand-off ended in gunfire.

The 40-year-old was hit in the shoulder with a live-rifle round discharged by a garda marksman after he emerged from a barricaded house firing at gardai.

Members of the Emergency Response Unit opened fire on the man as the siege in a cul-de-sac in Gort, Co Galway, reached a dramatic end shortly after 8pm.

Anthony Burke (40) was undergoing emergency surgery at University College Hospital in Galway after being rushed there by ambulance after the shootout.

While gardai said they understood his condition to be stable and his injuries not to be life-threatening, a hospital spokesperson said he was "critical".

The siege at the two-storey house in Crowe Street had earlier appeared to be nearing a peaceful conclusion when Mr Burke finally responded to repeated garda invitations to talk at 5.50pm.

He began to speak with a trained negotiator. The conversation continued to the point where he surrendered one of his shotguns at 7.30pm.

But without warning, he emerged from his home at around 8.20pm and fired a number of shots.

It is understood he fired two shots at street lighting before taking cover behind a car, where he reloaded his weapon.

He was challenged by gardai but ignored their requests to put down his shotgun. He then fired at least one round towards members of the Emergency Response Unit.

Gardai then shot a number of non-lethal "beanbag" rounds - which are designed to disable - hitting him at least three times.

But the rounds did not deter him. When he continued to act in what gardai described as a "threatening manner", a garda marksman discharged a live round from a .308 rifle.

The shot struck Mr Burke in the chest/shoulder area and he fell onto the road.

Gardai attended to him quickly and an ambulance which had been on stand-by throughout the day rushed to the scene."

If you come out of a house shooting at Gardai chances are they might shoot you. And to all the fuck-wits bleating on about 'they should have shot him in the leg' I would say 'maybe they should have sent him a bunch of flowers and a fucking note asking him to stop shooting at them too!' Idiots.
Right, just enough time to grab a shower after yoga and head for late lunch/early dinner of lobster.


Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

What was he under siege for? Was it some kind of a domestic thing? How come he had a gun?

I do agree with your point. If you shoot at policemen you might reasonably expect to get shot back at. Seems only fair.

5:59 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

He was drinking all day, got into a furious row with his partner and locked himself into the huse with his legally held shot gun or rifle I'm not sure which. But he did manage to let off 120 shots into poles, cars, neighbouring houses and so on.
Naturally the bleeding hearts of Ireland are all up in arms because the cops shot him, after trying to subdue him with bean bags bullets and so on.
You shold have heard the earlier, 'oh the cops are bastards for shooting the poor fellah, sure he was only firing the gun for the 'sake of it'" Er, tell that to the cops who were only doing their jobs, missus.

8:10 p.m.  
Blogger Binty McShae said...

I'm not one for some of the gung-ho shoot-first-ask-questions-later antics that we have seen in the past but it seems to me that, having sent in a negotiator and tried to disable the guy with non-lethal bean-bag rounds, the cops played it all pretty reasonably before taking the final measure. And they didn't just open up a hail of bullets either - the report mentions only one single round being fired.

1:54 a.m.  
Blogger Binty McShae said...

FMC, Sarah has kindly designed a small banner for winning the music quiz... should you wish to display such a thing! But you have no public e-mail address to send it to and I cannot seem to get blogger to allow me to post it on my blog for you to cut and paste...

If you would like to have it please e-mail me (my address is on my profile) or if you do not wish to give away your e-mail address contact me through my comments and we'll try and work something else out.

Cheers m'dear!

2:14 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was one shot, to disable him. It wasn't like they put 8 bullets in his head from point blank range.

The way they handled it was perfectly justifiable.

8:47 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

That's what I think, but listening to radio yesterday you'd swear they'd kicked the door open and gone in and shot him while he was buttering some toast and watching TV.

9:11 a.m.  
Blogger P1P said...

The Gardai played it fairly. He had enough chances shoot the dopey fucker I say!

Now they should charge him for his medical treatment, the damage he caused to the area and for the bullet that put him down.

What the hell is happening to the world eh? Bean bag bullets? He had a gun! Shoot him!


12:29 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to be a cunt, fatmammmycat, because I'm as opinionated as the next woman... but unlike me, you weren't there, and unlike me, you didn't see what was going on.

I'm still waiting to hear the full story and get the full facts. But at the moment there are too many questions needing answers about this whole thing, and it stinks to high heaven.

1:25 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Alrighty then, did he come out shooting or not? Was he hit four times with the barn bags but still kept firing? I don't mind being corrected but it sounds to me this man had ample time to surrender to the gardai before the outcome of his shooting.

1:38 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We were told he came out shooting "several shots", which was impossible as he was armed with a shotgun - there were two shots (which would have been the gun's capacity) and then the gardai started shooting.

If it was a case that he was standing on the lawn reloading (yet to be confirmed) then naturally enough we have to support the decision the marksman made. Otherwise, why shoot with a live round?

My main point is this: the official line has divulged so little information that the community has legit questions they want answered. Being so close to all that went on, I have plenty questions I'd like answered that don't have a place on any blog. Can we just say I'm not at all satisfied with the official statements yet?

The other thing is this: the man was a neighbour and a member of the community. It's disturbing to hear/read people who knew nothing about him but what the media's been bandying about calling for his head on a plate.

It's given a lot of us food for thought. During the Abbylara siege myself and I'm sure plenty of my neighbours adopted the "good enough for him" argument. When it happens on your own doorstep there's a very different atmosphere. I'm certainly going to think twice before condemning people who place themselves in similar situations in the future.

One last thing: Anthony Burke was a competent marksman. Many of us who knew him find it extremely difficult to believe he meant to hit anyone when he came out shooting - had he meant it, he would have done it. The sad theory going around the community today is that Anthony Burke wanted to be hit - that he was unable to commit suicide and wanted to give the guards reason to "assist" him. At the start of the siege the local guards were adamant that nobody had been shot at.

It's a terrible situation for any family to be in. Our thoughts are with the Burkes and we hope there's some sort of light at the end of the tunnel for them.

3:31 p.m.  
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