Page last updated at 17:31 GMT, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 18:31 UK

Family feud 'sparks estate riot'

Garda van

Seven people have been arrested after a riot in County Westmeath involving two feuding extended families.

Gardai say 200 people were involved in the violence at Dalton Park estate in Mullingar and riot police were needed to deal with the trouble.

Two petrol bombs were also thrown and a number of people treated in hospital.

Trouble began at about noon when it is understood a prize fight involving members of two feuding local families sparked serious violence.

Stones and missiles were thrown amid sustained fighting in the housing estate.

Several people were injured and taken to the Midland Regional Hospital in the town, where further fighting broke out between members of the travelling community.

Riot police from the Garda Public Order unit were needed to quell the trouble, and the Garda helicopter unit was also sent to patrol the scene, with ambulances and fire brigade units also present.

Seven people were due to appear in court in connection with the violence.

Local reports say a feud has been simmering between two extended families over recent months.



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