A still from the cctv of the incident which has gone viral

'We have been in business for 35 years and have never seen anything remotely like this'

The managing director of the company which employs the two construction workers who were attacked in Navan on Wednesday afternoon has said he is "dumbfounded" by the incident.

John Cradock, managing director of John Cradock Ltd, which is carrying out the Navan 2030 works on behalf of Meath County Council, told how one of the workers involved had suffered an arm injury after being hit with what appeared to a lump hammer and was waiting for an x-ray at Cavan Hospital. The other worker was not injured and returned to work yesterday.

Mr Cradock told the Meath Chronicle that the company had been in business for 35 years and he had never seen anything like this happen before.

"We have been in business since 1987. We must have completed 30 urban renewal contracts around the country, a lot of bridgework and roadworks and we have never seen anything remotely like this," he said.

"It is a very sad state of affairs that something like that would happen."

He paid tribute to the workers involved describing them as "very brave" and said it was very evident from the footage that they had acted in self-defence.

"People have been very complimentary about the way our guys reacted. The guys were very brave. I have to say the situation was managed well by our foreman and some of the other guys too who diffused the situation."

He said the Gardai had reacted very quickly and their safety officer had also met Gardai yesterday and would be meeting with them again on Monday. Mr Cradock visited the site yesterday and will return on Monday morning.

He said there had been no issue in Navan up to this and that people had been co-operative. While by necessity they had been disrupted by the works, he said they had got a lot of good comments on the standard and quality of their work.

"The people of Navan have been appreciative of the job we are doing. Unfortunately with the industry we are in, before we can make something better, we have to disrupt people but the people of Navan have been very co-operative with us, as indeed has the council. I would have said it is a good place to work but this is no help.

"We are concerned looking forward that incidents like these have to be stopped or have to be curtailed, we will be discussing with Gardai how that can be achieved".

There has been widespread condemnation of the violent altercation which was captured on CCTV with the footage since going viral.

In the footage, two men are seen walking past Tierney's shop and get irate when they can't go any further. They move the barriers cordoning off the building site area and when they builders tell them they can't go that way, they can be heard shouting expletives at them.

One of the men proceeds to pick up a pipe and throws it at a construction worker and an altercation ensues. During the clip the man can also be seen picking up a brush and also grabbing a hammer and swinging it at a worker.

Navan Gardai have confirmed that they are investigating the incident.