Suspended sentences for men who took part in faction fight

A FACTION fight saw two gangs of men meeting in Bandon, Co Cork, in the early hours of the morning and when gardaí arrived they found a man lying unconscious and bleeding from the head with golf clubs on the ground beside him.

Sergeant Ian O’Callaghan said residents were frightened by the sound of metal clashing outside their homes on Kilbrogan Hill near the town’s courthouse and there were numerous 999 calls made to gardaí at 4.30am on October 26, 2009.

One gang came from the Kinsale area for the pre-arranged fight. When barrister Stephen O’Donoghue said on behalf of one of the accused that the group from Kinsale was out-numbered and had to flee the scene, Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said the Marquis of Queensbury rules did not apply to faction fights and that if they were stupid enough to get involved they had to live with the consequences.

Turning to the three defendants, the judge said: “You were involved in a modern-day faction fight, something which really belongs to our uncivilised history. They should be ashamed of themselves. They went on a drunken foolish escapade which will result in criminal convictions and suspended jail sentences. Lads, we should be making advances in modern life rather than this kind of carry-on.”

Neil Dunne, of Dunderrow, Kinsale, John Cantillon, of 55 Barrack Street , Kinsale, and Brian Condon, of 9 Ballincubby, Kinsale, all pleaded guilty to a charge of engaging in violent disorder at Kilbrogan Hill, Bandon, Co Cork, whereby they used or threatened to use unlawful violence causing others to fear for their safety on October 26, 2009.

Previously adjourned for sentencing, it had been a condition of bail that the defendants would stay away from the town of Bandon where the difficulties arose.

Judge Ó Donnabháin removed that condition yesterday and did not make it a term of the suspension of the sentences.

Others are due before the court in relation to the same case in the coming months.

Sgt O’Callaghan said the man who was found unconscious had to get 30 staples to his head wound and was in hospital for almost a week but he did recover from his injuries. None of the defendants before the court yesterday was charged with assault.

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