Machete-wielding group lay siege to house after assault

A MACHETE-wielding group stormed the front garden of a house on Christmas Day after a boy was badly assaulted in a long-standing feud, it was claimed yesterday at Limerick District Court.

Cousins Jason Hanlon, aged 21, and Craig Hanlon, aged 19, were brought to the court in custody on charges of assault and causing criminal damage to a house.

A solicitor for the two claimed a Hanlon family home had been set upon by a number of people wielding machetes on Christmas Day. However, a Garda witness alleged the Hanlon family were the main aggressors in an ongoing feud in which a house belonging to a neighbouring family had been shot at on two occasions.

Jason Hanlon, with an address at Ballinagarde, Ballyneety, was refused bail after the court heard he had breached conditions of High Court bail on another matter.

Craig Hanlon, of 15 Raheen Square, Ballinacurra Weston, was given bail on strict conditions. He is charged with causing damage to the front door of the home of Jackie Kelly at 176 Hyde Road, Ballinacurra Weston, on New Year’s Day.

Jason Hanlon is charged with assault causing harm to Stephen Mulqueen, aged 15, on Christmas Day at Hyde Road.

During bail applications for the two it was claimed the home of the Kelly family had been shot at on two occasions during an ongoing feud.

Objecting to bail in respect of Craig Hanlon, Sgt John S Scanlon said feud-related incidents had taken place at the home of the Kelly family at 176 Hyde Road. Shots had been fired into the house and he believed that, if given bail, there would be a concerted effort by the Hanlons to terrorise the Kelly family.

He also alleged witnesses would be intimidated.

In reply to David Brophy, solicitor for Craig Hanlon, Sgt Scanlon agreed that the accused had convictions for three motoring related offences and none involving violence.

In evidence Craig Hanlon said on the night of the alleged incident at the Kelly home, he was very drunk and did not know what he was doing. Mr Brophy said his client was in full employment at Dell.

Garda Padraig O’Dwyer objecting to bail being granted to Jason Hanlon said the alleged assault on Stephen Mulqueen happened on Christmas Day and the injured party had made a statement identifying the culprit.

Garda O’Dwyer alleged the boy was attacked because he was a relative of the Kelly family and it was a feud-related matter.

Garda O’Dwyer said shots had been fired at the Kelly home at 176 Hyde Road on December 26 and previously on September 24. Garda O’Dwyer said Jason Hanlon had been given bail by the High Court two months ago on a charge alleging he was involved in the discharge of a firearm into 176 Hyde Road.

He said conditions were attached to the bail, including a curfew.

When gardaí went to his address at St John Francis House, Ballinagarde, Ballyneety, on December 28, they could not ascertain if the accused was there as part of a curfew condition.

They were not allowed in and were abused at the door.

Jason Hanlon, he alleged, also failed to sign on at Roxboro Road Garda Station on December 26 as part of his bail conditions.

Garda O’Dwyer said he believed that if given bail, Jason Hanlon would engage in violence in relation to the Kelly family.

Judge Tom O’Donnell refused to grant bail to Jason Hanlon saying he had breached conditions of bail given to him in the High Court. He remanded him in custody to the same court on January 16.

Craig Hanlon was remanded on bail to the January 9 sitting of the court.

A number of conditions were attached to his bail and they include a curfew and daily signing on at Roxboro Road Garda Station. He was also ordered to stay away from Hyde Road and to have no contact with the Kelly family.

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