Gardaí in Mullingar have appealed for anyone who filmed any part of the Traveller feud at Ballyglass Cemetery, Mullingar on Sunday to hand it in to aid the “ongoing investigation”.
“There will be more charges as more people are identified,” said a Garda spokesperson.
Last Sunday, August 4, a well organised Garda presence which included an armed response unit and the Garda helicopter, managed to limit the potential for injury and damage after two rival factions from the Dublin Travelling community chose Ballyglass cemetery during the annual Cemetery Sunday devotions in which to air their grievances amongst an estimated 2,000 local folk paying their family respects.
The fracas was nipped in the bud when gardaí sucessfully managed to eject one of the two factions from the cemetery.
An eyewitness spoke of “bare-chested fellas, all thinking they were Resevoir Dogs, until the largest gang [the Gardaí] called it a day”.
One elderly woman - not aligned to either faction - was injured by a thrown stone, though not seriously, and one person so far has been arrested.
However, with the Garda experience gained from the Dalton Park riots in 2008, which saw 88 subsequent arrests leading to a total of 64 people convicted, further arrests are expected.
“When the disturbance took off it was predominantly rock throwing, but there were persons present with implements, and these were all confiscated at the time,” the spokesperson said.
These implements included homemade clubs, claw hammers, hatchets, padlock and chains, craft knives, and a golf club, and anybody caught with any of these can expect subsequent charges.
Gardaí confirmed the organised fight was between two Traveller families from north Dublin, with about 50 protagonists on each side.
“They may have had some relations in Mullingar, but they were predominantly from Dublin. It was not a local feud by any means. Members of the local Travelling community made it plain to gardaí they were not getting involved in this,” said the spokesperson.
“We would appeal for any footage people took on the day, as the Gardaí in Mullingar would be anxious to look at it”.
This footage would be in addition to the film taken by the Garda cameraman in attendance, and by the helicopter.