Shots were fired on a Traveller halting site and tensions are running high after a man who lives on the site was acquitted of a machete attack on another resident.

Members of the garda armed Regional Support Unit spent several hours at the Spring Lane halting site on the northside of Cork city yesterday after the shooting incident.

It is understood that the incident is linked to a court case earlier, in which a man accused of attacking another man on the halting site with a machete, cutting off one of his fingers, was cleared of the charge.

A jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court took just half an hour to arrive at their verdict in relation to Alan McCarthy, aged around 30, and with an address at the halting site.

Judge David Riordan told the jury that they had to consider two different narratives that were put forward in the case.

The prosecution said there was an argument at Bay 10 on the site on September 26, 2016, that Alan McCarthy went to Bay 1, came back with a machete and attacked Paddy McCarthy.

There was a total denial of the use of a car by Paddy McCarthy in this account.

The other narrative is that when Alan McCarthy was in his caravan, a car came into the yard, there were shouts and threats, people got out of the car, and a window was broken in Alan McCarthy’s caravan.

Alan McCarthy recognised Paddy McCarthy and struggled with him and got the machete from Paddy McCarthy and in the course of that, gave three or four blows to Paddy McCarthy. Paddy McCarthy had his left index finger cut off and it had to be reattached in a 13-hour operation.

One juror had to be discharged yesterday and the verdict was deliberated upon by the remaining seven men and four women of the jury until they all agreed on the not guilty verdict.

A spokesperson for the Traveller Visibility Group in Cork said it is aware of the tensions between groups on the site, and has been engaged in conflict resolution work on site.

However, she said other stakeholders, including gardaí, the HSE and Cork City Council, need to engage more to help resolve the various complex issues.


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