A STAND off between two Traveller familes camping in a graveyard car park and local people in Sixmilebridge that threatened to result in violence was averted last week following intervention by gardaí and local representatives.
Gardaí, who had been in communication with the families, stepped in when a group of more than 100 local people gathered intent on approaching those on the illegal encampment.
A garda source said there was real concerns that the situation could escalate out of control.
“We were concerned that some-thing serious could happen. When people are in groups their behaviour can change and there was a worry that things could get out of control.
”Two families from Cork took up residence in land adjacent to Ballysheen Graveyard, Sixmilebridge, just over three weeks ago.
The families claimed they had nowhere to go after leaving a Cork halting site and opted to stay in the county of their ancestors – Clare.
Local people were upset however that the family’s two caravans were parked in a field to be used for car parking during funerals.
“People visiting the graveyard during holy week were upset that proper respect and dignity was not shown towards those buried in the graveyard as children ran in and out and played on the graves, while loud music blasted across the cemetery as people came to pay their respects to their dead,” a local told The Clare People.

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