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Video: The full version of the Connacht squad getting laptop back

NewsBy Sunday World
A screen grab of the confrontation
A screen grab of the confrontation

GARDAI were forced to intervene when members of the Connacht rugby team confronted a traveller who was in possession of a laptop stolen from team-mate Robbie Henshaw.

Video obtained by the Sunday World shows the moment team-members – including 6ft 100kg Kiwi Bundee Aki and 6ft 86kg Kieran Marmion – arrived at the door of the McDonagh family in the Sli Burca estate in Galway seeking the return of the stolen computer.

It’s understood the team-mates arrived at the McDonagh’s home after using a ‘Find my Laptop’ app.

The confrontation took place at 5pm on Tuesday of last week – a day after Henshaw warned on Twitter that he was sending team-mate Bundee Aki after the thief alongside a picture of his broken rear car –window.

“Not the best way to start my Monday,” he tweeted.

“To whoever stole my bag, I hope you find my economics notes useful #happy reading. I’m getting my mate @Bundeeaki – to investigate and knock your block off.”

Prior to the confrontation outside the McDonagh’s house Aki tweeted ominously: “Whoever broke into @henshawrob’s car, good luck.”

A two-and-a-half minute video (below) shows how a confrontation developed between members of the senior squad and members of the McDonagh family.

The video shows the confrontation between the Connacht team players and members of the family taking place in front of the McDonagh’s house.

One person in the group of approximately 12 men from the opposing factions can be heard yelling: “I don’t want to fight... I don’t want to fight... we’re not fighting.”

As the confrontation moves towards a children’s playground in the estate, a man with a strong Irish accent can be heard roaring at the rugby players: “Get out... get out now. Listen you’ve done pointing the finger.”

One of the Connacht team members can be heard trying to defuse the situation by repeatedly insisting to the man: “No trouble, no trouble.”

The same man then moves towards the group of rugby players swinging punches.

He is then led away by his friends minutes before the arrival of the Gardaí.

The incident ended when  the Gardaí arrived and dispersed the crowd.

Among the players present was Bundee Aki, whose second season with Connacht resulted in the Kiwi centre being voted Player of the Season by his peers in the Guinness Pro12.

The 26-year-old former Super Rugby winner with the Chiefs, Aki joined Connacht in 2014.

Connacht Rugby refused to confirm yesterday whether the laptop at the centre of the Sli Burca dispute was Henshaw’s.

This week, mum-of-10 Ellen McDonagh insisted to the Sunday World that her son Kevin had purchased the laptop not knowing it had been stolen.

“He’s only a young fellow and he should have had more sense because when they arrived up here he told them he’d sort it and get it back for him.

“About 10 lads arrived up here and we only found out after from the Gardaí they were from the Connacht rugby team.

“It was a big surprise seeing so many people from the team arrive up here and I don’t think it was very professional.

“There was a bit of pushing and shoving but Kevin told them he’d get the laptop back.

“The Gardaí arrived up here after about 10 minutes and they talked with my son.

“They told him if the laptop was returned that would be the end of it and that’s what happened.

“He told them he’d bought it not knowing it was stolen and that he offered it back straight away.

“We haven’t made a complaint to Connacht Rugby about what happened… we just want to forget about the whole thing.

“We did get an awful fright with people arriving up at the house like that and at the end of the day I don’t think it was right that they did.

“You can’t just be arriving up at people’s house like that taking the law into your own hands.

“I think when it’s players from the Connacht Rugby then they should be more professional then that.”

A spokesperson for the Connacht Rugby Team confirmed on Friday they were aware of the incident and requested the video be forwarded to them.

The Sunday World passed the video on to the spokesperson.

On Saturday the spokesperson told the Sunday World Connacht Rugby “won’t be issuing a comment”.

Gardaí confirmed members were sent to the Sli Burca estate to disperse a group in connection with a public order related incident.

Connacht Rugby is currently enjoying a massively successful season. 

The club announced earlier this week that the Sportsground sold out for Saturday’s Guinness PRO12 semi-final clash against Glasgow within an hour of tickets going on sale.