Gardaí are to investigate the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting, by Gardaí, of a gunman who had barricaded himself in his house in Co Longford for 24 hours. The gunman, named as 27-year-old John Carthy, was shot just after emerging from the cottage in Abbeylara. He died at the scene shortly afterwards. Superintendent John Farrelly said he ignored repeated warnings to lay down his weapon, a double barrelled shotgun. Supt Farrelly described it as a very sad incident.

Attempts by members of his family to persuade the 27-year-old man to give himself up failed. He opened fire three times today, once hitting a Garda loud hailer. Efforts to mediate by the parish priest and a psychiatrist failed.

The stand-off began at the cottage, half a mile outside the village of Abbeylara, when the man ordered his mother out of the house and fired a number of shots at Gardaí. Families in the surrounding houses have been moved out and the area remains sealed off.

Throughout the night, Gardaí used loudhailers and phones to try to establish a line of communication with the man. Gardaí, assisted by trained negotiators, surrounded the house and made telephone contact with the man inside. He is understood to have responded briefly but did not co-operate fully.