By Ryan Dunne firstname.lastname@example.org@laoisnews
Rocks were thrown during a violent brawl in the street at Hillview Drive at the weekend after members of the Travelling community targeted Chinese nationals.
Gardaí reported that a group of up to seven Travellers attacked three Chinese males in the Portlaoise housing estate at around 1.30am on Sunday, January 22.
One Chinese national, a man in his early 40s, was hospitalised with a cut to his forehead, but the injury is not thought to be serious.
Objects including rocks, bricks and timber were thrown and minor damage was caused to the house and car of one of the injured parties.
It is not known whether there was any retaliation from the Chinese nationals during the horrific fracas.
A number of gardaí had to attend the scene, with members of the detective unit as well as uniformed gardaí from Abbeyleix, Portlaoise and Mountmellick all called to deal with the disturbance.
It took some ten minutes for the gardaí to defuse the situation and the members of the Travelling community all fled the area.
No arrests were made and the gardaí are following a definite line of inquiry, calling to houses in the estate.
It is understood that the suspects all live in the local area.
A garda spokesperson has told the Leinster Express that it is believed the brawl resulted from a case of mistaken identity.
It is reported that something happened earlier in the day to spark the trouble, but none of the Chinese nationals were involved in this.
“They were targeted, but it could be mistaken identity,” the garda spokesperson told the Leinster Express.