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Liam Keane in court accused of terrifying armed home invasion

CourtsBy David Raleigh
Liam Keane
Liam Keane

A family has fled their home in Limerick "in fear" for their lives, after a man, armed with a butchers knife, broke into their house last Sunday morning and stabbed a man, a court has heard.

Liam Keane, (31), appeared before Limerick District Court this morning, where he was refused bail.

His father, Christy Keane, was present in court to support his son.

Liam Keane, of Singland Gardens, Ballysimon, was charged with one count assault causing harm, and one count of burglary, at a house in Limerick, around 7am on May 29th last.

The family at the centre of the alleged incident fled from their home in fear of Mr Keane, the court heard.

During a contested bail hearing, Garda Orlaith Ryan, Henry Street garda station, alleged: "Mr Keane forced his way into the house in the early hours of May 29th, in possession of a large butchers knife which he used to threaten the occupants".

"He made his way to an upstairs bedroom at the rear of the house brandishing the knife," she alleged.

"He pulled back bedclothes where a 14-year old girl was sleeping and he put her in fear."

Garda Ryan alleged Mr Keane then moved to a second bedroom where he "threatened" a man and his pregnant partner with the knife, "putting them in both in extreme fear".

It's alleged Mr Keane stabbed the man on his arm.

Gda Ryan said "a number of witnesses will allege" they saw Liam Keane at the scene on the morning in question.

Gda Ryan said "swabs" had been taken from Mr Keane, and from the house, for DNA analysis.

She told the court it was her belief, that if granted bail, Mr Keane would "commit further serious offences".

"This is a volatile individual," Gda Ryan alleged.

"If he does get bail, he has access to firearms, and the injured parties may be at risk," she further alleged.

Gardai said they believed the alleged offences arose following the "tragic death" of a man in Limerick around 6.30am on the same morning.

Gda Ryan said the family who have left their home "are in temporary accommodation."

"Their location, including the 14-year old girl, is known only by Gardai," she said.

"They wish to keep their whereabouts secret as they are in fear, and the Gardai concur with that," prosecuting Garda Sergeant, Donal Cronin, told the court.

"Arrangements have been out in place for their security," Sgt Cronin added.

The court was told the girl is attending a school in Limerick city and is due to sit her Junior Certificate next Wednesday.

"She is in extreme fear since," Gda Ryan said.

Mr Keane's solicitor told the court that he has "maintained his innocence".

Tom Kiely, defending, alleged that the man who has left his home with his partner and daughter is "not long out of prison".

Strenuously opposing bail, Sgt Donal Cronin said: "We are ultra concerned (Mr Keane) will commit further serious offences in relation to this investigation."

Judge Marian O'Leary refused bail and remanded Mr Keane in custody to appear in court via video link on June 21st for directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.