Gun victim garda helped break up Traveller brawl

A Garda shot twice in an attempted murder in the US last year was one of 20 gardaí deployed to help break up a massive brawl involving up to 30 “feuding” members of the Travelling community on Thursday night.

Garda Brian Hanrahan, who was robbed and shot in the chest and leg while holidaying in New Orleans in January 2015, was one of 20 gardaí who responded to the violent clashes, which broke out at a Traveller suicide awareness meeting at the Rathkeale House Hotel.

Yesterday, four men from the Travelling community appeared at Limerick District Court, charged with violent disorder.

The court was told that 20 gardaí responded to the hotel, where six security staff were on duty, when violence broke out around 10.45pm.

Garda Tom Flavin from Croom Garda Station told the court there were “in excess of 100 members of the Harty family” at the event, organised by the HSE, and West Limerick Resources.

“There is an ongoing feud in Askeaton involving the Hartys. It was extremely volatile last night,” Gda Flavin alleged.

He alleged that “two gardaí received injuries” during the violent clashes.

“One was taken to hospital with two fractured fingers, and the other is off duty with a leg injury,” he said.

The court heard there were “numerous other males injured”.

Edward Harty, aged 23, and Jimmy Harty, aged 20, both with addresses at Lisheen Park, Patrickswell, Co Limerick; and Michael Harty, aged 20, of Ballingrane, Askeaton, Co Limerick, were all charged with violent disorder.

Edward Harty was also charged with refusing to give Gda Hanrahan his name and address. Larry O’Connor, aged 27, of Holycross Place, Charleville, Co Cork, was also charged with violent disorder.

Despite Garda objections, Edward Harty and Larry O’Connor were remanded with consent to bail on a number of strict conditions.

Michael Harty was remanded in custody and did not apply for bail, and Jimmy Harty was granted bail by garda consent.

Judge Marian O’Leary remanded the four to appear before Newcastle West District Court next Thursday.


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