Co Meath Priest applauded for his heroics after intervening to put a stop to Traveller dispute at a anniversary mass – – Our News, Your Views

Co Meath Priest applauded for his heroics after intervening to put a stop to Traveller dispute at a anniversary mass


A Priest from Co Meath priest has been applauded for his heroics recently after he calmly intervened to stop a heated dispute between two groups from the Travelling community outside a church over the weekend.

The priest in question Fr Declan Hurley rather heroically persuaded the two groups to leave the grounds of St Mary’s Church in Navan, Co Meath were he was performing an anniversary mass for a woman named Bridget O’Donnell, who sadly died in Manchester last month . Fr Hurley spoke to the Irish Mirror about the incident saying: “You cannot be a shrinking violet in my job.”

He added: “You can have people turn up at ceremonies drunk or on drugs, you’d have people occasionally raising their voices to each other and the odd row would break out.”

The rather unsavory scenes caused Local Sinn Fein TD Peadar Tobin to frantically usher his young children out of harms way. It is understood that the two rival groups were in the amidst of a heated dispute which resulted in a physical fight breaking out afterwards which reportedly lasted up to 10 minutes.

Mr Tobin told the newspaper his version of events that unfolded before his very eyes, saying: “As Fr Declan concluded Mass I could hear raised voices at the back of the chapel. When I turned to look there were about 15 people roaring and pointing at each other. There was a little bit of jostling inside the church but when Massgoers were leaving by the Fair Green entrance they walked into a battleground.”

He further explained: “When I came out there was a serious row going on, this wasn’t handbags. “Boxes were being thrown and people were taking full-on punches to the head.”

“I grabbed my kids and moved them away from the scene, other parents were comforting their children who were clearly shaken up by what was going on. Fr Declan arrived out and fair play to him he went into the middle of it and basically told them to get off the church grounds.”Thankfully they listened to him and started to move away while still roaring at each other. At that point the gardai arrived on the scene, but once Fr Declan intervened it sort of petered out.”

It is understood that gardai then ushered the two groups off the church grounds, and the mass continued without any further interruption.

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