A riot between two Traveller families reduced a Mountmellick estate to a battleground at the weekend with missiles flying as a group of up to 30 people fought for two days straight.
A garda spokesperson has confirmed to the Leinster Express that a strong garda presence was required to patrol the Mountmellick area as two warring families caused a weekend of mayhem in the areas of Kirwan Park and Silverglen/Silverwood.
The trouble began during the day on Saturday, June 11, when a fight erupted between a member of each family at Silverglen.
There were a number of minor assaults, although no official complaints were made to gardaí and no arrests took place.
The garda spokesperson said that following this incident, both parties went off and got reinforcements which led to another incident at Silverglen at around 8pm that evening.
A verbal altercation began between the two families with large groups gathered in the estate.
There was no violence on this occasion and no weapons were present, and when the gardaí arrived the crowd dispersed.
However, the trouble kicked off again at 9pm that night, when a large crowd assembled at Kirwan Park with around ten to 15 people on each side of the dispute.
The two factions hurled missiles and various objects at each other, requiring numerous garda patrol cars to hurry to the scene.
After dispersing the families, the gardaí arrested one man on public order charges.
The man, a local in his 20s, was not charged, but inquiries are ongoing in relation to this riot, the garda spokesperson said.
The troubles spilled over into the following day, Sunday, June 12.
The gardaí received numerous calls of a large scale disorder at around 12.40pm, with some 20 people having gathered at Sliverwood.
However, when the gardaí arrived in the estate there was no sign of anyone.
The investigation into the violent scenes is still ongoing, and anyone who can assist the gardaí should call Portlaoise Garda Station on 05786 74100.