Gardai are to investigate an alleged assault on a plucky pensioner who has been campaigning for years to bring the revered Book Of Kells back to its home town in County Meath.

The incident took place in Kells on Wednesday June 22nd when Ronnie McGrane, father of golf professional Damien, unfurled a banner asking Trinity College to return the priceless manuscript to the people of the town.

He revealed, ‘ I do this maybe once a year I accept people mightn’t agree with it and I have had verbal confrontations over it before but I never expected to be struck.

‘I was just starting to put the banner up when this guy came out of nowhere and objected to what I was doing and we had a few words.

‘I think he thought I was recording him because next thing he grabbed my phone and hit me in the face with it, like I said I have taken some verbal stick over the years but this is the first time I was physically assaulted.

‘Michael Gallagher a local Sinn Féin councillor seen I was shook up and came over and waited with me for around half an hour until the guards arrived.

‘To be fair to them they took the details of what happened and have said they will be in touch to take a statement from me, I’ll certainly cooperate with them it’s come to something when a pensioner is attacked in his own home town just for having an opinion.’

Ronnie also revealed that Trinity College authorities are none to keen on his efforts.

‘They sent me solicitors letters a decade ago asking me to stop and threatening legal action, I ignored them and heard no more but I’d welcome my day in court to debate who the Book Of Kells really belongs to.’