Gardaí are investigating a violent brawl between a large group of people at a cemetery in Co Galway in which seven people were injured.
The incident occurred in Tuam at about 4pm on Wednesday. Gardaí were called to the scene and about 30 officers responded including local uniform and plain clothes personnel.
As The Irish Times reports, they were supported by gardaí from the wider North Western Region and the regional Armed Support Unit.
Gardaí said they had to physically intervene between parties and eventually dispersed those present and preserved the scene.
A 16-year-old boy was arrested as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.
The boy was taken to Tuam Garda station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the juvenile liaison officer.
Five men and two women were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.
Gardaí have begun an investigation into the incident and are appealing for any witnesses or anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda station on 093-70840, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666111, or any Garda station.
Speaking to Newstalk, local councillor Joe Sheridan says similar incidents have happened at other funerals in the area.
“It is a stain on the community, and it is time that we look at this, it is not tradition.
“This could escalate to something that could lead to someone else's funeral and I would hate that on my conscience.”
Councillor Sheridan said he feels he has to do something about it and the Government needs to act to combat this type of “nonsensical violence.”
'Run them out of town'
Meanwhile, another local councillor from Tuam warned that residents of the Galway town will take action against the people involved in Wednesday’s brawl.
Fianna Fáil representative Donagh Killilea told Newstalk’s Pat Kenny show: “We will do it legally. We will run them out of town. Half of them are gone. They contribute only mayhem.”
Cllr Killilea said that rocks, knives and even a chainsaw had been used as weapons during the brawl, which he maintained did not involve the bereaved families.
The swift response of the gardaí prevented the violence extending into the town, he said.
“Tuam doesn’t need this, we were continuing to build the reputation of the town, this sets it back,” he said.
Local representatives now hope to initiate a mediation process to ensure there is not a repeat of the violence. “We will do something about this. We are going to meet the families involved and get them to ‘bury the hatchet’ in a different way.”
—Additional reporting by Vivienne Clarke.