NewsCrime Desk

Six arrested after funeral attack victims slashed and badly beaten

Six arrested after funeral attack victims slashed and badly beaten

Two men travelling to a funeral were hospitalised after a savage attack this morning.

The pair were driving to the funeral of a traveller Martin "Red Breast" McDonagh in Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo when their car was rammed by a group of men.

One man was badly beaten and the second was slashed during the attack. Armed gardai arrested six men in connection with the attack.

The incident came less than 24 hours after a group of thugs tried to ram a hearse carrying Mr McDonagh's remains from Shannon, Co Clare to St Patrick's church in the Co Mayo town.

Armed gardai from the Regional Support Unit (RSU) were on patrol in Ballyhaunis for the funeral as part of a policing plan.

And sources said officers were on the scene of the attack moments after the incident.

"This man's remains were being brought from Shannon, Co Clare to Ballyhaunis last night when a group of men tried to ram the hearse," a senior source said.

"Then this morning there were two men travelling the Devlis area when their car was rammed. One man was slashed and the other lad got a bad beating."

Both men were brought to Mayo Universtiy Hospital in Castlebar where their injuries are described as "serious but not life-threatening".

The suspected attackers are all believed to be from Co Donegal and were not known to local gardai.

A garda spokesman said: "Gardai at Ballyhaunis are investigating an incident that occurred this morning in Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo. Two men received non-life threatening injuries.

"In a follow-up operation, six people have been arrested and are currently detained under the provisions of section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

"They are detained at various stations in Co Mayo."