Garda witness says Limerick star hurler’s alleged victim was “subjected to a vicious assault”

Five-time All-Ireland winning hurler Kyle Hayes appeared before the courts today charged with assault causing harm to Cillian McCarthy. Photo: Brendan Gleeson.

A SENIOR Garda told a jury today (Wednesday) that he believed security staff at a city night club could have been assisting a man who may have been “subjected to a vicious assault” rather than ejecting him.

Detective Garda Barry Moylan was being cross examined by the defence in a trail in which five-time All-Ireland winning Limerick hurler Kyle Hayes is accused of attacking Cillian McCarthy as he lay defenceless on a street, following an incident in the Icon nightclub.

In this mornings proceedings, Mr Brian McInerney SC asked Garda Moylan, who was giving evidence of CCTV from the night in question, whether Mr McCarthy would be seen to be “ejected” from the club and “in custody” of security guards.

Garda Moylan said that Mr McCarthy “was subjected to quite a vicious assault just before, he may have been unsteady on his feet and was being assisted by security.”

Garda Moylan said he “would not go so far” as to say the security personnel were rendering medical aid to Mr McCarthy.

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It is alleged that the hurling star attacked Mr McCarthy after becoming “upset” that the alleged victim had spoken to two women in the Icon nightclub, the Circuit Court in Limerick heard earlier.

The jury viewed CCTV footage from outside the nightclub on the night which showed Mr McCarthy outside the Icon and a Garda patrol car in the vicinity behind a taxi.

Mr McInerney put it to Garda Moylan that, given that it is a Garda’s duty to assist members of the public in trouble, “if someone had tapped on the window of that patrol car and said ‘I’m terrified, I’ve been assaulted’, would the Gardaí not have jumped out of the car to help them?”

It’s alleged Mr Hayes “fled” from the scene of the alleged attack outside the Icon nightclub, on Upper Denmark Street in Limerick City, and was arrested by Gardaí a short time later, the court heard previously.

Two Gardaí allegedly witnessed Mr Hayes and others attacking the alleged victim outside the nightclub on October 28, 2019.

Mr Hayes (25), of Ballyashea, Kildimo, County Limerick, is on trial before Limerick Circuit Criminal Court charged with one count of assault causing harm to Cillian McCarthy (24), of Toureen, Ballysimon, County Limerick, outside the Icon nightclub in the early hours of the morning in question.

The four-time All-Star Limerick hurler is also charged with two counts of committing violent disorder, including one earlier occasion inside the nightclub and later on during the alleged street attack on Mr McCarthy.

A co-accused, Craig Cosgrave (24), of Caherally, Grange, County Limerick, is charged with violent disorder inside the Icon nightclub on the same date.

Craig Cosgrave is charged with assault causing harm. Photo: Brendan Gleeson.

A third accused, Jai Chaudri (22), of Carheeny, Kildimo, is also charged with assault causing harm to Mr McCarthy and with one count of violent disorder outside the nightclub on the same date.

All three have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Prosecution Counsel, John O’Sullivan BL, told the jury they would hear evidence that Cillian McCarthy had been socialising in the Icon in the company of Craig Cosgrave “who, at the time, was a friend of his”.

“Cillian McCarthy got talking to two girls and it appears that Kyle Hayes was upset about this,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

“Putting it in plain terms, Cillian McCarthy was set upon by Kyle Hayes and others, and numerous punches were thrown.”

“It is the prosecution’s case that Kyle Hayes and others pursued Cillian McCarthy outside the nightclub and that Kyle Hayes attacked Cillian McCarthy on the public street.”

Mr O’Sullivan said Jai Chaudri joined Mr Hayes in assaulting Mr McCarthy, while he lay on the ground.

Mr O’Sullivan said there was no CCTV footage of the alleged attack on the street, but that two Gardaí, who “are very important witnesses” and who were on the scene at the time, “will give evidence that they saw Kyle Hayes and others punch and kick Cillian McCarthy while he was down on the ground”.

Mr McCarthy suffered a number of facial injuries including a fracture to his right eye socket.

In an earlier sitting this week, Garda Moylan played in court CCTV footage taken from inside the Icon nightclub showing a fight breaking out on the club’s dancefloor on the night in question.

Under cross examination by Craig Cosgrave’s barrister, Seamus Roche SC, Garda Moylan said that, from watching the CCTV footage, it appeared that Kyle Hayes and another unidentified male had “instigated” the dancefloor fight.

Detective Moylan said he accepted that Mr Cosgrave was “not the instigator” of the dancefloor melee.

Other footage shown to the court showed Mr McCarthy being followed out of the venue by Kyle Hayes.

It’s alleged Gardaí later saw Mr Hayes and Mr Chaudri kicking and punching Mr McCarthy while he was lying on a street near the nightclub. Both men are seen on footage running along Upper Denmark Street and away from the nightclub.

Under further cross examination, Garda Moylan agreed with Mr Hayes barrister, Brian McInerney SC, that Mr Hayes left the nightclub “under his own steam”

The trial continues.