A large armed garda presence was in situ in Longford town this afternoon amid fears of an outbreak of violence at a Traveller funeral.

Several officers from the Garda Regional Support Unit (RSU) had been drafted into the county in a bid to ensure proceedings at the funeral of 93-year-old Maureen Stokes passed off without incident.

Those fears were exacerbated over the past 24 hours after a man was shot and another man sustained serious injuries in a suspected hatchet attack in Galway.

Both incidents occurred in the wake of Mrs Stokes' removal and are being linked to an ongoing feud between two rival Traveller factions, which also resulted in another man falling foul to a suspected acid attack.

They follow similarly violent scenes almost 12 months earlier when a man was left fighting for his life in hospital in the aftermath of a car ramming incident in Ballymahon.

The victim sustained a stab wound in that incident shortly after a religious ceremony had been held to mark the anniversary mass of John 'Dodie' Stokes, a son of the late Mrs Stokes.

It was revealed that close to 60 officers were on standby for this morning's funeral proceedings at St Mel's Cathedral ahead of burial to Ballymacormack Cemetery.

Among them included members from the Garda Air Support Unit, Dog Unit, Public Order Unit as well as uniformed and detective branch members.