Monday 22 January 2018

Feud fears after slash hook attack


Garda: File photo
Garda: File photo

Two men have been hospitalised after they were attacked with a slash hook during a mass brawl in Waterford.

The incident happened at around 2.15pm on Monday at Mount Sion GAA grounds where 12 members of the Travelling community had gathered.

It's believed the men had chosen the location for a bare-knuckle boxing match to settle a debt.

However, sources said "all hell broke loose" when a large blade and a number of other weapons were produced.

One man suffered a severe wound on the back of his head while the other received lesser cuts to his arm.

They were both rushed to Waterford University Hospital.

Sources say the attack happened in front of a number of children.

The incident is believed to be related to a long-running feud between two families from the Ballybeg area of the city.

News of the incident has sparked concerns that a deadly feud that gripped Waterford in 2008 may have reignited.

The rivalry almost exhausted garda resources in the region and cost more than €400,000 in overtime pay during a three-month period.


It began when another bare-knuckle fight escalated and resulted in assaults, arson and numerous shootings.

More than 100 incidents relating to the dispute were reported and dozens of arrests were made.

Three horses had to be put down after sword-wielding thugs hacked off their legs.

Gardai also believe the 2009 murder of 47-year-old Willie Stokes was connected to the feud. He was knifed to death by two men in Tipperary town in front of his 12-year-old son.

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