POLICE in ST Helens, Merseyside, are trying to trace a bunch of bunch of men involved in a brawl that erupted in the Holy Cross Church during a mass led by Father Colin Fealey.
According to the Telegraph, the cops were called to sort out the melee. One eyewitness said:
There looked to be around 40 of them running riot. Police had to stop the mass because they were fighting. Quite a few elderly people were upset. The men seemed to be speaking a foreign language. Most of the elderly people went out through a side door, while the fighting carried on in Parade Street.
Police confirmed there were around 30 people involved in the disturbance, but insisted that only two were actually fighting during mass. A spokesperson for Merseyside Police said:
This must have been very upsetting for the other people inside the church at the time. Obviously this type of behaviour inside a church is totally unacceptable and we are continuing to work to trace those responsible.
A statement from the Archdiocese of Liverpool read:
Towards the end of the 6.45pm mass at Holy Cross Church on Saturday, Feb 23 an incident took place which led to the involvement of the police. As those involved were not parishioners or regular members of the congregation, we are unable to comment further.
A police spokesperson added:
CCTV is being examined and enquiries are on-going in the area. The neighbourhood team will continue to visit the church and school to offer reassurance.
More on the brawl was reported yesterday in the St Helens’s Star, which revealed that it was apparently sparked by a internal row within a St Helens-based traveller family.
Parishioners were appalled by the mayhem, in which it was reported candlesticks were used as weapons.
Speculation that the violence was linked to feuding factions of travellers – which has escalated into numerous violent flashpoints in recent years – is believed to be wide of the mark. Instead the Star understands this violence was a result of a “domestic row” that broke out between a family of travellers.
A Merseyside Police force spokeswoman said:
It is domestic related and we can’t go into anymore detail.