Women and children present for nine minute 'riot' at Clare kick-boxing night, court told
“I have been involved in a number of serious incidents during my career and that is as bad as any, including the Lansdowne Rd riot”
Women and children were present for a nine minute long ‘vicious riot’ at a kick-boxing fight night, 'Lord of the Rings', a court has heard.
At Ennis Circuit Court, Sgt Kevin O’Hagan showed YouTube and CCTV footage of what he described as the “very serious riot situation” in the vicinity of where more than 350 people had gathered for the 13th annual “kick-boxing night” at the Oakwood hotel in Shannon on November 17th 2018.
Det O’Hagan told the court that “I have been involved in a number of serious incidents during my career and that is as bad as any including the Lansdowne Rd riot”.
Judge Eoin Garavan said: “Nine minutes is an extremely long time and this was a vicious riot where people were distressed and terrified at the aggression of these eight people. What happened ruined the night and ruined the position of the local kickboxing club.”
In the case, eight people from the McDonagh and Harty families from Shannon and Sixmilebridge pleaded guilty to violent disorder while Michael Harty (37) of Rossmanagher Rd, Sixmilebridge and Bernard McDonagh (29) of St Helen’s Park, Ballymurtagh, Shannon also pleaded guilty to assault on the night.
Sentencing the eight, Judge Garavan said that members of two families “should be regarded as one large gang of extremely aggressive and violent people”.
The footage in court showed chairs being used as weapons on the night and Det O’Hagan said that more than 25 chairs were thrown and a number of bottles were also thrown.
Det O’Hagan said that in one incident, a Michael McDonagh slipped and fell on the floor and Michael Harty went over and kicked him full force into the head with his right foot.
Mr Harty has 66 previous convictions and Det O’Hagan said that Michael McDonagh was rendered unconscious, lost a tooth and required a number of stitches to his head.
Det O’Hagan described how mother of five and partner of Michael Harty, Theresa McDonagh (37) threw a number of chairs during the event.
Counsel for Mr Harty, Brian McInerney SC stated that what occurred “was spontaneous and was not pre-planned or premeditated”.
He said: “What occurred was thoroughly appalling and everyone involved should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.”
He said: “No one really knows what sparked this and no one knows what started this. It was an indescribable event.”
Det O’Hagan said that the kick-boxing club that organised the event to raise money for the club has not been able to get insurance since for any similar event.
Det O’Hagan said that since the event, “there have been incidents I have investigated as a direct result of what happened with associates of both families coming into conflict - some are before the courts and some are with the DPP”.
Judge Garavan ordered that all accused each pay €1,500 to the kickboxing club.
Michael Harty is currently serving a five year prison term for another matter and is due for release on October 14th 2023 and Judge Garavan imposed a two year suspended prison term to run consecutive to his prison term for the violent disorder charge.
Judge Garavan said that Mr Harty regards himself as the boss and “was one of the primary actors on this particular stage”.
He said that there is a concern “that others might try to emulate him and his leadership”.
Judge Garavan imposed two year suspended prison terms on the others who pleaded guilty to violent disorder
In the case, Thomas McDonagh (21) of Ballymurtagh Cross, Shannon, Bernard McDonagh (29) of St Helen’s Park, Ballymurtagh, Shannon, John McDonagh (22) of Ballymurtagh Cross, Shannon, Martin McDonagh (21) of St Helen’s Park, Shannon and Patrick McDonagh (26) of St Helen’s Park, Ballymurtagh, Shannon each pleaded guilty to engaging in violent disorder at the Oakwood hotel in Shannon on November 17th 2018.
Judge Garavan also imposed suspended two year prison terms on Teresa McDonagh (37) of Rossmanagher Rd, Sixmilebridge and Edward Harty (29) of of Lisheen Park, Patrickswell, Limerick
Judge Garavan also imposed suspended 18 month prison terms concurrently on Michael Harty for the assault on Michael McDonagh and the same 18 month suspended prison term on Bernard McDonagh for an assault on the night.
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