Bloody mayhem on the streets as bitter Dublin feud escalates
A violent Dublin feud spilled onto the streets yesterday which later led to chaotic scenes in the accident and emergency unit of a hospital.
Two men remained in garda custody last night while another three men were hospitalised after the chaos broke out in front of dozens of onlookers, including children, on a busy main street in Drogheda shortly before midday.
Among the three men hospitalised was Clifford Whitehouse, whose brother Benny was shot dead last September.
Last night armed detectives continued to patrol Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital amid fears of a further outbreak of violence.
Sources have revealed the mayhem began shortly after 11.40am at West Street in the Louth town when a chance encounter between six men led to what is being described as a "bloody brawl".
"Knives were produced but were not used, but a number of very bad assaults happened which are likely to result in serious charges at a later date," a source explained.
"What happened here is part of an ongoing feud which has its origins in the Balbriggan area and has seen one murder and literally dozens of other violent incidents," the source added.
Over 100 people saw the shocking scenes, but gardai reacted quickly to the situation - which was caught on CCTV cameras - and arrested a man who they observed as being an "instigator" of the brawl.
Despite the quick reaction of officers, people were left shocked by the disturbing scenes which involved one man being beaten with a broom handle, as well as multiple assaults by the protagonists.
"There was blood everywhere and the men got a really bad beating. People were screaming and running out of the way. I can't believe that something like this can happen in the middle of the day in such a busy area," said one terrified woman at the scene who had young children with her.
After the 36-year-old man was arrested in the town centre, further mayhem broke out at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital where three people were brought for treatment for "severe cuts and bruises".
"At around 2.15pm, a further altercation took place between some of the parties at the emergency department and another arrest was made. The two arrested suspects were detained for public order offences - both men are related to each other," a source explained.
Clifford Whitehouse (40), who was injured in yesterday's brawl, was jailed for four months last February for his role in a violent incident outside a Balbriggan school while many people were dropping off their children.
An image obtained by the Herald shows a bloodied Whitehouse at the scene after Gardai arrived.