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Friday 19 September 2014

Armed gardai at scene as fight between rival travellers re-ignites this morning

Published 28/07/2014 | 22:20

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A MASSIVE row between traveller factions escalated in Dublin this morning after a night of tensions following a separate fight yesterday evening.

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Armed gardai raced to the Avila Park halting site in Finglas, and the Cappagh Road was closed after the violence escalated at 7.30 this morning.

Gardai investigate the incident on the Cappagh road in Finglas. Picture: Arthur Carron
Gardai investigate the incident on the Cappagh road in Finglas. Picture: Arthur Carron

More than 20 garda vehicles and scores of plain clothes and armed gardai raced to the scene when the fighting reignited.

Last night armed gardai and the air support unit were deployed to the scene when the violence erupted between groups from Finglas and Coolock.

The scene at the Cappagh Road this evening. Picture Sean Conroy

Witnesses had reported seeing two vans and a car leaving the Avila Park site with all their windows smashed, and being followed by a garda van.

Other witnesses reported hearing smashing and fighting from deep within the site.

One person was brought to hospital with head injuries.

This morning local sources said they saw cars arriving at the site with men inside who were heavily bandaged, sparking fears that people who may have been hurt in last night's violence might be returning.

"Within minutes there were sirens and garda cars speeding into the area and the whole place was shut down," one local told Independent.ie.

Groups of travellers were congregated along the Cappagh Road before returning to the Avila Park site.

Scores of gardai, many of them armed, then went into the site and spread throughout it as tensions ran high.

They maintained a presence for the early morning.

A garda spokesperson said gardai were called to the site this morning after a large disturbance was reported.

A spokesman for the fire service said one patient was brought to hospital with head injuries last night..

An eye witness said that he understand it began with a “scuffle” which then “started to escalate”.

“People were saying that there were shots fired, but I spoke to gardai there and they said there were no shots fired,” the man continued.

“There was a fist fight and there were weapons involved.”

Gardai from Finglas attended the scene, and a spokesperson said that it was “a stand off amongst themselves”.

“We were there as a precaution,” he added.

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