Man charged onto hurling pitch waving slash-hook

An underage hurling match had to be abandoned after a pitch invasion by a Traveller wielding a slash-hook.

The incident at an U16 game at St Patrick’s GAA club in Limerick is being investigated by gardaí.

Players from St Patrick’s and Bruree were lining out on the pitch, which is located next to a halting site in Rhebogue, when a man emerged from the site with a stick. He complained a window in the halting site had been broken by a stray sliotar.

When confronted by adults, the man left and returned a short time later wielding a slash-hook. It was decided to abandon the game.

A Garda spokesman said a statement of complaint had been made and they were carrying out an investigation.

According to witnesses, the Traveller man initially threw a brick and bottle on to the field, after claiming a window had been smashed. He then emerged with a stick and one of the adults who confronted him was punched and hit with the stick.

Following the incident, representatives of Limerick City Council’s home and community department met with representatives from St Patrick’s GAA club.

A spokesman said: “The council, in conjunction with other agencies, including An Garda Síochána is working with club representatives in an effort to address ongoing concerns.”

Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon said the council has agreed the halting site, in it’s present location is unworkable and needs to be closed.

“It is scheduled to close. There needs to be a lot more monitoring of comings and goings at the site, and a public meeting is due to be held next week to discuss the site.”


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