Man charged over Limerick ‘feud’ hit and run is granted bail

Limerick District Court.

VIDEO footage played in court today (Friday May 3) showed a car driving at a man in an alleged hit-and-run linked to an alleged violent feud Gardaí claimed is “ongoing” in Limerick City.

Gardaí told a bail hearing at Limerick District Court that Michael Shannon (29), of Lenihan Avenue, Prospect, Limerick City, was the driver of a Nissan Qashqai that allegedly pursued and struck a male pedestrian.

A man could be clearly seen in the footage played in court running from a vehicle which veered off Hyde Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, on April 30, allegedly ploughing into him.

Garda Eoin Dillon, Roxboro Road Garda Station, objected to bail citing the “serious nature” of the alleged offences and his belief that Mr Shannon “will commit further serous criminal acts” and “not appear” at later court hearings to face charges.

Garda Dillon alleged Mr Shannon was “actively involved in an ongoing feud” with others in Limerick, and that if Mr Shannon was granted bail “he will continue to engage in this feud”.

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The Roxboro Garda said the feud posed a “serious and active threat” to members of the public, particularly in the Hyde Road area, which he claimed could lead to loss of life.

Mr Shannon was brought before the court charged with seven offences including one count of violent disorder; one count of producing a weapon, namely a two-foot long metal bar, during a violent disorder; three counts of dangerous driving; one count of producing a weapon, namely a five-foot long slash hook; and one count of causing criminal damage to a parked car.

All of the offences are alleged to have occurred in the Hyde Road/Hyde Avenue area of Ballinacurra Weston, on April 30.

Garda Dillon said investigating Gardaí have harvested “excellent quality CCTV” footage, which they alleged shows Mr Shannon driving a grey Nissan Qashqai at a man on the day in question.

CCTV footage played in court showed a vehicle veering off the main road and driving at “significant speed” towards the male pedestrian who starts to run from the pursuing vehicle.

Garda Dillon alleged that other CCTV, which he said was not being played in court “for operational reasons”, shows Mr Shannon and two other men exiting the Qashqai as it travelled along Hyde Road earlier on the day and Mr Shannon exiting the vehicle “carrying a weapon” which he raises up while confronting two male pedestrians and an altercation ensues.

The Garda alleged Mr Shannon got back in the vehicle alone and drove off “dangerously away from this scene” and at “significant speed” towards the male pedestrian.

Garda Dillon alleged Mr Shannon drove the Qashqai “mounting a footpath in an attempt to run the male down” before colliding with the male and leaving the scene.

The Qashqai, which is not registered to Mr Shannon, has yet to be located, the court heard.

Garda Dillon said he arrested the accused at a house on Lenihan Avenue at 7.40am last Thursday morning (May 2).

He said Mr Shannon replied after being charged and cautioned: “I did not mean to do any of this.”

Garda Dillon said he and Garda colleagues initially responded to a scene on Hyde Road on April 30 after receiving “multiple reports” of a group of males fighting one another with weapons.

When Gardai arrived, they observed a male with “blood on his face and a suspected leg injury” who “refused” to co-operate with Gardaí who tried to interview him at the scene and later on at a hospital where he was being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Sergeant Sean Murray, Roxboro Road Garda Station, told the court that Gardaí were awaiting directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions and that a file on the alleged incidents was being prepared for the Director’s office.

Judge Fiona Brennan said she noted the “clear fear” of Gardaí that “there may be an escalation in violence” if Mr Shannon was released on bail.

The judge said she had to balance the State’s concerns with Mr Shannon’s “presumption of innocence” and, as she was not satisfied the State’s objections had been borne out, she was not refusing bail.

Mr Shannon was remanded in custody with consent to bail on his own cash lodgement of €500 and an approved independent surety of €5,000.

Imposing additional bail conditions, the judge ordered Mr Shannon to stay away from the Ballinacurra Weston area of Limerick; that he sign on daily at a Garda station; and that he must not drive any motorised vehicle.

DPP directions were to be provided at Mr Shannon’s next court appearance on May 7.