Gardai have confirmed they are investigating a series of videos showing two rival Traveller families appearing to entice each other online into a bare knuckle fight.
Last week, the Leader revealed how a group of Travellers, believed to be from Galway, openly challenged rivals from Longford into a fight on internet site, Youtube.
The series of videos, which were posted in the last fortnight, shows a number of individuals from both factions make a series of threats and intimidatory remarks to one another.
In an earlier video, claiming to be released by members of the Joyce family, one of the men seen shouting obscenities before later bearing his chest shouted: “Why don’t you take off your skirts and come out and fight. I had nothing again ye people. You’re 28 years of age, I’m 44.”
Then, late last week a further video was posted in response by a group named as the ‘Longford Nevins’. This video appeared to be filmed in a residential area and featured a number of men shouting into the camera. Children’s voices could be heard in the background as the men challenged members of the Joyce family to a fight before Christmas.
The videos have been uploaded on a tit-for-tat basis over the last two weeks, notching up tens of thousands of views and causing serious concern that they could lead to a major incident in the near future.
News of the footage this week caused Longford County Councillor, Mark Casey to describe the incident as “very serious.”
Speaking at this week’s meeting of Longford County Council’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC), Cllr Casey said he he knew of several people locally who had received notification of the videos via email.
“Is there any way we can get these things (videos) off YouTube as soon as we see them because it is inciting violence and it is not a good image for the county,” he said.
In response and without going into specific details, Supt Denis Shields said he and his officers were “very much aware” of the video footage, saying the incident was the subject of a Garda investigation.