Charges struck out as claims withdrawn

A large Garda presence and a number of their vans secured the court. The parties left by separate exits. Solicitor for six of the accused, Padraig O’Connell welcomed what the “period of rapprochement”.

Charges struck out as claims withdrawn

Dozens of charges were struck out and a number of convictions not proceeded with after several women, representing both sides of an ongoing Killarney, Co Kerry feud withdrew complaints against each other at a special sitting of Killarney District Court.

A large Garda presence and a number of their vans secured the court. The parties left by separate exits. Solicitor for six of the accused, Padraig O’Connell welcomed what the “period of rapprochement”.

Mr O’Connell described the striking out of 30 charges as “an opportunity to let the dust settle”. A recent charge alleging a threat to kill against a man known as “Sexy” is proceeding, the court heard, The special sitting yesterday is the second such involving the dispute between a number of closely connected families in Hazlewood Drive and Ballyspillane area of the town.

Last November, a case before the circuit court in Tralee was told the feud was sparked by a row over a bouncy castle in 2018 during a first communion gathering of closely connected families, some of them related.

The charges struck out yesterday include public order, road traffic, and assault in a dispute which had spilled over onto nightclubs and shops in Killarney.

The special sitting in December heard how traffic had come to a halt in Upper Park Road in the feud with females fighting and how people in Ballyspillane needed to walk around their estate with CCTV such was the threat level between families.

Inspector John Kelly asked each of the eight women withdrawing charges yesterday if they were doing so out of their own “free will“ and they each replied this was the case. Judge Waters also satisfied himself that the complainants had not been under pressure to withdraw evidence. The State also withdrew a number of charges.

Convictions against two women in December were also not proceeded with and no sentence handed down.

Insp Kelly said gardaí wanted to reassure the public they were maintaining a presence in Ballyspillane and any incidents would be met with the full rigour of the law.

A fresh allegation of a threat to kill by Daniel O’Brien, aged 34, of Piercetown, New Bridge, Co Kildare is to proceed the court heard. He is alleged to have made a threat to kill or cause serious harm to “Patrick O’Brien (otherwise known as Sexy)” and this threat was made to Margaret Avanzo intending her to believe it would be carried out on December 22 at Ballyspillane, Killarney.

He made no reply when charged yesterday, the court heard. Ms Avanzo was not withdrawing her evidence, the court heard.

However, Inspector John Kelly said the State would not seek to remand Mr O’Brien in custody and would be seeking conditions attached to bail. Judge David Waters remanded Daniel O’Brien to appear again on March 3. The conditions include that he is to abide by a curfew in Co Kildare and is not to enter Kerry unless in connection with his case.

His solicitor Padraig O’Connell told Judge Waters his client “will leave Killarney once the bond is signed”.

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