Limerick brothers refused bail on charges arising from Patrickswell ramming

Judge Alec Gabbett who rejected the application for a Safety Order.

TWO Limerick brothers, who Gardaí alleged are a danger to the wider community, have been refused bail on charges of violent disorder in which a man was left fighting for his life in hospital after a ramming incident.

Michael Harty, (27), a father of three from Deel Manor, Askeaton, and Danny Harty Jr, (22), a father of one, from Geitne Close, Askeaton, were each charged with one count of “violent disorder”, contrary to Section 15 of the Public Order Act.

Gardaí alleged during separate bail hearings for both men at a special sitting of Limerick District Court, that Danny Harty Jr was ejected from the Dark Horse pub in Patrickswell on Wednesday night after he was involved in a dispute in the bar.

Gardaí said Danny Harty Jr contacted his co-accused brother who, along with their father, Danny Harty Sr, and another man, arrived at the scene in a white Volkswagen Passat.

Detective Garda Fiona Reidy of  Roxboro Road Garda Station said  that a group of men left the pub after Danny Harty Jr and a “high speed car chase” ensued through the village involving the two accused men and others.

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Detective Reidy said CCTV  footage showed a white Volkswagen Passat allegedly carrying Michael and Danny Harty Jr, their father Danny Harty Sr and another man, being rammed from behind by a white Nissan Qashqai and a silver Nissan Qashqai.

Detective Reidy said “weapons were produced and a mass brawl ensued, as members of the public were going about their normal business in the run up to Christmas”.

Detective Reidy claimed that Danny Harty Jr, was seen running from a car and kicking Adrian Byrne in the head and while he was on the ground.

She also alleged that CCTV footage showed Danny Harty Sr, who was not charged with any offence, assaulting a man with an implement resembling “a wooden pick-axe handle”.

Adrian Byrne and his brother Douglas Byrne subsequently  presented with serious injuries at University Hospital Limerick on the same night.

Detective Reidy said Adrian Byrne  collapsed at UHL and was rushed to Cork University Hospital (CUH) with a bleed on his brain and that he was in an “unstable critical condition in a High Dependency Unit at CUH”.

Gardaí believed that if Michael Harty or Danny Harty Jr were granted bail they would commit serious offences and witnesses would be intimidated.

She said another man, not named in court, was admitted to UHL with slash wounds to his head, and a further ramming of entrance gates of a property in Shannon, Co Clare, occurred on the same night, which Gardai suspect is linked to the ramming in Patrickswell.

In her objections to bail, Detective  Reidy said that Gardaí believe that both Michael Harty and Danny Harty Jr are “a danger to the community at large”.

A number of vehicles have been seized by Gardai as part of their ongoing investigation.

Solicitor Tom Kiely, representing the Harty brothers, said his client’s instructions were that they were “set upon” by a large group in Patrickswell on the night in question.

Detective Reidy agreed with Mr Kiely that Danny Harty Jr was not driving any vehicle, that he his brother Michael waited at the scene for Gardaí to arrive, and that there was no suggestion by Gardai at this stage that either Michael or Danny Harty Jr were seen in possession of any implements or weapons.

Judge Alec Gabbett said he was satisfied to refuse bail for both  men in order to “prevent the commission of further serious offences”.

“I have to take into account the allegation by Gardai that they are a danger to life,” he explained.

Both accused were granted free legal aid and remanded in custody to appear via video link before a special sitting of Limerick District court for directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions on December 29.