TWO people have been arrested following an incident at a funeral in Shannon on Sunday, while parish priest Fr Tom Ryan said lives could have been lost but for the intervention of the gardaí.
Martin ‘Red Breast’ McDonagh died last Wednesday night and was reposing in Shannon on Sunday before his funeral, which took place in Ballyhaunis, County Mayo on Monday.
It is understood that a row broke out close to Ss John and Paul Church, in which a number of people, associated with two separate families, were involved. No arrests were made in relation to this.
Shortly afterwards, one vehicle rammed into another at traffic lights close to Aidan Park. Another vehicle, owned by a party not connected with the dispute, was also damaged.
A vehicle was seized at the Old Lodge shortly afterwards and one person arrested. A second person was subsequently arrested.
Speaking on Monday, Fr Ryan said, “The first thing I’d like to do is extend sympathy to the McDonagh family on the death of their father and grandfather Martin. The incident that occurred on Sunday in the grounds of Ss John and Paul Church and the funeral home is totally unacceptable behaviour to happen at any funeral or in any community. Those responsible brought shame on our community but it must be made clear that they came from outside the county of Clare and outside the country as well.”
He again stressed that no local people bore any responsibility for the incident, while he stressed that the gardaí had reacted appropriately. “I want to compliment the local gardaí in Shannon for their presence and their swift response, which defused a potentially lethal situation. It definitely presented the potential for loss of life or injury to people and this must be acknowledged and put on the record. What people witnessed in Shannon on Sunday should never be seen again.”
A Garda spokesman confirmed that the locals were not to blame for any of the trouble. Trouble flared up again in Ballyhaunis on Monday and a number of further arrests were made following another incident.