Vigilantes lay siege to Romas
A GANG of up to 20 vigilantes surrounded a house containing members of the Roma community on Neville Street on Friday night.
Armed with baseball bats, hurls and golf clubs, the gang arrived with their faces covered and smashed the glass in the windows and front door of the house at 24 Neville Street in which up to 14 members of the Roma community, including children were gathered. They shouted abuse at the people and smashed all the windows, lights and mirrors of two cars parked outside the house, which belong to the residents.
The attack follows hateful postings on Facebook about members of the Roma community, which, in some instances, have included photographs taken of the people begging in New Ross.
Superintendent John McDonald said a large number of Gardaí attended the scene but by the time they arrived the gang had dispersed.
Supt McDonald said: 'Thankfully nobody was injured. The gang committed criminal damage and we've interviewed witnesses in relation to this crime. We preserved the scene and it was technically examined.'
Gardaí gave the people inside the opportunity to be escorted from the house but they decided to remain in situ.
'They are living there for some time. They and we are aware of comments made on social media but there is no justification for anyone to do this.
'But for the luck of God someone could have been serious injured in there.
'Any crimes, no matter who commits them, will be fully investigated and if there is enough evidence we will bring the culprit to justice. Allegations involving certain incidents have been made (about some Roma people), but I'm not sure how factually correct these claims are.'
Supt McDonald said CCTV is being studied and a full investigation is underway.
'House to house enquiries have been made and some statements were taken and further enquiries will be carried out.
' We would appeal for anyone with further information to contact us at 051 426030. Anyone who was involved in this has put themselves in a position where we will be investigating them for this criminal matter.'
He said charges have been brought against some members of the Roma community, as they have been against numerous members of the local community, in recent months for different matters and all crimes committed will be investigated.
The attack follows a similar incident in Waterford.