Rathkeale Riots | 

Simon Harris slams ‘absolutely unacceptable’ violence in Limerick town

At least six jeeps were damaged in the town of Rathkeale yesterday in broad daylight as a machete was left at the scene.

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

Interim Minister for Justice Simon Harris has slammed a violent incident in Co Limerick on Monday as “absolutely unacceptable”.

At least six jeeps were damaged in the town of Rathkeale yesterday in broad daylight as a machete was left at the scene.

The unprecedented scenes saw UK registered vehicles seemingly ramming into each other on the public road.

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday morning, Minister Harris, who is standing in for Helen McEntee while she is on maternity leave, condemned the chaos in Rathkeale.

He added that the town will see a strong garda presence over the festive period to prevent further violence from happening.

Wicklow TD, Minister Simon Harris.

“The scenes in Rathkeale yesterday were absolutely unacceptable,” Harris said.

“The Armed Support Unit was deployed rapidly, and I’ve been assured an enhanced policing presence will continue to be part of the policing plan over Christmas to ensure order is maintained in the town.

“Garda investigations are ongoing, and they have appealed to any witnesses to contact Rathkeale Garda Station to make sure that those involved can be identified and prosecuted.”

Junior Minister Niall Collins also called for more garda resources to be put into policing the town.

"Maybe the gardaí need to revive their dedicated policing plan in view of what's happened today. This is a shocking new low and it's a minority of people sullying the name of the town for a lot of decent people - and making elderly people fearful.

"It happened at a time when people’s kids were being collected from school, so this was hugely traumatic," the Limerick TD said.

Gardaí confirmed yesterday that they are investigating a “public order and dangerous driving incident in Rathkeale, Co Limerick.”

"Gardaí received report of a number of vehicles engaged in dangerous driving on the R523 Road in Rathkeale town and attended the scene.

“Gardaí directed a number of people present to disperse and closed the road for examination. Investigations are ongoing and no further information is available at this time.”

Gardaí also appealed for witnesses to the incident in a statement.

"Gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed this incident to come forward. Any road users who were travelling in the Rathkeale area between 2pm and 4pm this afternoon who may have camera footage (including dash cam) is asked to make it available to Gardaí.

“Anyone with any information is asked to contact Rathkeale Garda Station on 069 63 222, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda station."

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