Fans in court over pre-match showdown

Fans in court over pre-match showdown

Eight people face charges over an incident that saw stones and bottles thrown, writes Liam Heylin.

A showdown between 38 fans of Bohemians and Cork City before a soccer match at Turner’s Cross saw stones and bottles being thrown.

Yesterday eight young men appeared in court where investigating officer, Sgt Alan Cronin, said he had CCTV of the incident and expressed concern about it being supplied to the accused in case it would be posted on social media.

Insp Ronan Kennelly said: “The State would have particular fears that if the data went out on social media it might re-ignite matters.”

The case came before Cork District Court where Sgt Cronin outlined the allegations to see if Judge Olann Kelleher would accept jurisdiction to deal with the case at district court level. The Director of Public Prosecutions accepted that the matter would be dealt with by the district court. After hearing the outline Judge Kelleher said he would deal with it.

Sgt Cronin said the incident occurred prior to a match between Cork City and Bohs at Turner’s Cross on July 31, 2015. Before the melee, a group of Bohs fans were in Murphy’s Garden and a group of Cork fans were making their way from the Evergreen Bar.

Two “spotters” from the Bohs group ran back to alert their group that Cork fans were on the way. An altercation started and bottles and stones thrown. Gardaí later established that 38 people were involved. Some were dealt with by gardaí through adult cautions and others were dealt with via the juvenile liaison scheme.

Eight defendants were before Cork District Court charged with engaging in an affray.

“Bottles and stones were thrown. Thankfully nobody was seriously injured. Some of the Cork fans walked away. Some of them stayed around but did not get involved. Amazingly, some of the groups went back into the bar and drank,” said Sgt Cronin said.

He said it followed a similar incident in Dublin before a match between the same teams in May 2015.

The alleged incident was captured on CCTV.

Insp Kennelly said there were Garda concerns that the CCTV being supplied to the defence might go on social media. Frank Buttimer, who represented several of the accused, said there would be no difficulty with some redaction of material from the prosecution being supplied to the defence. Sharon Brooks BL and Eddie Burke, solicitor, each represented a defendant also.

Judge Olann Kelleher adjourned the cases until April 8 and said if there was any difficulty with the redacted prosecution material further applications could be made.

The defendants are: Cameron Ashworth, aged 22, of 19 Silloge Park, Ballymun, Dublin; Andrew Byrne, aged 18, 3 Rollins Court, Sallynoggin, Dublin; Morgan Carey, aged 27, who lives an apartment at Hanover Mews, Cork; John Hayes, aged 24, of 11 Lower Derrynane Road, Turner’s Cross, Cork; Jason Kelly, aged 24, of 6 Brandon Crescent, Dillon’s Cross, Cork; Colin McConnell, aged 20, of 38 The Demesne , Killester, Dublin; Tony McKeown, aged 18, of 15 The Gates, Matthew Hill, Lehenaghmore, Cork, and Christopher O’Connor, aged 24, 40 Fairfield Green, Farranree, Cork.

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