Thirty garda units called in after shotgun fired at crowd in west Dublin
At least 30 garda units from across the capital, including armed detectives, were scrambled to a halting site in west Dublin after reports of a shotgun being discharged as well as people being armed with slash hooks.
A garda patrol unit was dispatched to St Aidan's halting site in the Brookfield estate, Tallaght, shortly after 5am on Sunday morning after reports of a disturbance.
However, when officers arrived on the scene they witnessed a shotgun being fired and reported a crowd of up to 40 men involved in a "full-scale riot", with some of those involved armed with the slash hooks.
Gardai retreated from the scene and called for back-up, as several marked and unmarked vehicles from various garda districts and divisions across the Dublin Metropolitan Region were dispatched.
Armed detectives were also called to the scene while a garda helicopter circled above, keeping surveillance on the area.
A source described how "absolute chaos" unfolded at the scene, with at least 30 garda units involved in the incident.
"Gardai who initially responded to the call-out reported seeing a shotgun being brandished and gunshots being discharged, so the unarmed officers retreated for the timebeing.
"What followed was absolute pandemonium, as garda cars from across Dublin received reports of the gunfire - with what must have been half the available officers rushing to the scene," the source explained.
"When back-up arrived they were met with the sight of grown men hacking at one another with slash hooks. They completely ignored the overwhelming garda presence and continued fighting.
"At one stage there were 30 various garda vehicles packed on to the road outside the site, made up of 40 armed and unarmed gardai," a source said.
"As is normal with incidents of this particular nature, garda keep a distance and observe what is happening. They eventually stepped in and defused the situation."
The incident was eventually brought under control at approximately 7am, with one 25-year-old male being arrested for a public order offence.
The number of people who were injured as a result of the "riot" has not yet been confirmed, but one man has been described has having suffered "horrific slash wounds".
"One man in particular was badly sliced up. He has cuts all over his body from being hacked at with the slash hook, and he's lucky he survived the incident, because it could have been far worse for him," a source said.
Some of those involved in the fight are extended family members of the infamous McCarthy/Dundon mob.
Between 15 to 20 members of the Limerick group made their way to the Tallaght halting site following a family gathering, but the occasion turned violent in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The McCarthy/Dundon gang has been dealt several major blows in the last number of years, with the majority of the gang's main players either dead or serving lengthy prison sentences.
Brothers Wayne, Dessie and John Dundon are currently serving time in Portlaoise's maximum security prison.