A TD has told how he guided his young children to safety after a serious fight broke out in the grounds of a church after Sunday morning mass.
Peadar Tobin Sinn Fein TD told Independent.ie that he witnessed the altercation which began at 1:40pm outside St.Mary's Church in Navan, Co Meath after Sunday morning mass.
He said the fight continued for approximately 10 minutes.
"For a few minutes we heard loud shouting towards the back of the church.
"When we went outside big guys were throwing punches and people were being pulled to the ground," he said.
"I immediately walked my 4-year-old and 3-year-old son around the corner to safety.
"The altercation continued for about 10 minutes," he said.
Mr Tobin described how elderly people and young children looked on in horror as the brawl showed no signs of abating.
"The violent scene just shocked people into a standstill.
"When it registered with them what was actually happening they realised they had to get away from the incident."
Mr Tobin said he did not recognise any of the individuals involved in the incident.
Locals reported that Fr Declan Hurley, the celebrant, intervened in the dispute and convinced those involved to leave church grounds.
It is believed that the row was between members of the travelling community.
Gardaí arrived at the scene moments later but no arrests were made.