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‘It was horrendous’ – eyewitness describes violent scenes at graveyard fight in Galway

Seven people hospitalised after violent clash between two families in Tuam

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An injured man is taken to the army helicopter after fighting broke out at a funeral in Tuam.

An injured man is taken to the army helicopter after fighting broke out at a funeral in Tuam.

Tuam cemetery

Tuam cemetery

One eyewitness told how a priest in attendance begged the people fighting to stop.

One eyewitness told how a priest in attendance begged the people fighting to stop.

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An injured man is taken to the army helicopter after fighting broke out at a funeral in Tuam.

An eyewitness has described scenes of violence following a clash between two families at a funeral in Tuam, Co Galway.

Seven people were rushed to hospital, some with suspected stab wounds, after a violent clash at a graveyard in the town this afternoon.

Gardaí were called to the scene of the mass brawl on the Athenry Road after fighting broke out when two separate funerals crossed paths in the cemetery.

It’s understood one person suffered severe slash injuries.

A large number of gardaí attended the scene including members of the armed response unit.

Five ambulances transported the injured to hospital.

It is understood the row related to an ongoing feud between families in the local area that has escalated in recent months.

An eyewitness who was attending to a loved one's grave told the Irish Independent he had never witnessed a scene like it.

“It was complete carnage” he said.

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Tuam cemetery

Tuam cemetery

Tuam cemetery

“There were two funerals in the Cathedral the first was at 12noon and the other 2pm.

“I noticed a lot of people were still hanging around the graveyard after the first burial.

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“When the second funeral drove into the graveyard all hell broke loose.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life- women screaming, kids running for cover and their mothers shouting ‘Go behind the wall’.

“And next thing rocks started raining down on the people coming in the second funeral.

“The guards couldn’t do anything, they had to wait until they got back up.

“All the rocks were now landing on the cars trying to drive away. It was madness.

“Do you know the big wooden crosses they put on a grave before a headstone, they are about four feet high- I saw a fella pull up one of them out of the ground and belt the head of two other fellas. It was savagery.

“He pulled it out and ran like hell and was swiping at fellas and two of them fell.

“Next thing a helicopter arrived, and the armed response.

“It was horrendous.

“The women shouting and roaring the kids were screaming, it was unbelievable.

“The trouble seemed to be coming from about 30 lads who hung around after the first funeral.”

The eyewitness also told how a priest in attendance begged the people fighting to stop.

He added: “I did see a paramedic bringing a fella who had a bad head injury. He was losing a lot of blood. It was unbelievable.”

Roads around Tuam remain closed and several sporting events were called off.

In a statement tonight, gardaí confirmed they are investigating an incident of violent disorder that occurred in County Galway.

“At approximately 4pm, Gardaí were called to the scene of a violent altercation between a large group of persons at a cemetery in Tuam, County Galway.

Approximately 30 gardaí responded including local uniform and plainclothes personnel, supported by gardaí from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit.

“Gardaí had to physically intervene between parties and dispersed persons present and preserved the scene

"A male youth was arrested by Gardaí attempting to flee the scene in possession of a knife.

“This male was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer (JLO).

“Five males and two females were injured during the course of this incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

“Gardaí have commenced an investigation into this incident of violent disorder and are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station on 093 70840, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.”



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