Garda says he did not see colleague punch man in head

A garda has denied that he saw a colleague punch a man in the head during an incident which left five officers injured.

Naoise Ó Conarain, aged 22, of Redwood Lawn, Kilnamanagh has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting gardaí Andrew Quinn and Fiachra Molloy causing them harm at his home on March 10 2013.

The soldier, stationed at Cathal Brugha Barracks in Rathmines, also denies charges of assaulting gardaí Ross Foy, Kevin Keane and Simon Butler on the same date.

On day five of the trial, Garda Simon Butler said he arrived at the house at around 4am after a request for assistance from other gardaí. He said he found “20 or 40 people” carrying bottles of alcohol.

Gda Butler said he saw the accused’s father Gearóid and brother Oisín at the door. He said they were being abusive. He said Gda Keane went to arrest Gearóid and had to put him “on the ground” because he was resisting arrest. Gda Butler said he and another garda arrested Oisín O Conarain who was also being aggressive.

The witness told Cathleen Noctor BL, prosecuting, that later he helped arrest Naoise Ó Conarain.

Defence counsel, Mícheál O’Higgins SC, asked the garda if he saw Gda Quinn say to one of those present: “Take control of your fucking house.” Gda Butler responded that he doesn’t know if Gda Quinn said this. He told counsel the didn’t see a garda punch Gearóid Ó Conarain in the head and that he doesn’t know if he was struck in the legs as gardaí tried to bring him to the ground.

The trial continues before Judge Patrick McCartan.

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