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Sunday 31 August 2014

Two Clongowes rugby players to be sentenced over mass brawl which left youth with broken leg

Published 23/01/2014 | 17:04

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Scott Flood-Wiley leaving Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today. Photo: Collins Courts.
Evan Lewis leaving Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today. Photo: Collins Courts.

Two rugby players from a prestigious private school will be sentenced next week for their involvement in a mass brawl which left a youth with a broken leg.

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Scott Flood-Wiley (21) and Evan Lewis (22) were out celebrating their school, Clongowes Wood College, winning the Leinster Schools Cup when they took part in a fight involving around twenty young men.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that gardaí were later able to identify the youths by going through the Clongowes yearbook and finding their pictures.

Flood Wiley of Adelaide Street, Dun Laoghaire and Lewis of Coppinger Close, Stillorgan but originally from Ennis in Clare pleaded guilty to affray on Lower Rathmines Road on March 20, 2011.

Garda Mary Brophy told prosecuting counsel Roisin Lacy BL that a large number of current and former Clongowes students were in Tram Co nightclub in Rathmines celebrating the school’s recent win in the rugby competition.

Another group of youths including Graham Bennett and Ryan Hatfield were in the same club celebrating a 21st birthday.

Mr Hatfield was involved in a verbal row with some Clongowes students in the smoking area before his group left the club and went to a near-by chipper. They again ran into the group of students who began shouting abuse at them.

Mr Hatfield’s group walked on until he “felt a dig in his right ear”.

A fight then broke out between the two groups.

Mr Bennett fell to the ground during the struggle. He was unable to stand up afterwards and heard a “popping sound” when he tried. He was taken to hospital where he was found to have a “Bosworth fracture” to his leg.

Flood Wiley and Lewis’s defence counsel both said their clients had nothing to do with causing Mr Bennett’s injuries and this was accepted by the prosecution.

Gardaí were able to identify some of those involved by consulting the Clongowes yearbook and six months later Flood Wiley and Lewis were arrested.

Flood Wiley said in an interview he may have punched somebody but denied kicking or stamping on anyone.

Lewis, who came to the garda station voluntarily before his arrest, claimed he got a slap as he left the club and then pushed another male who was attacking his friend.

Flood-Wiley has three previous convictions for theft, drug possession and a road traffic matter.

Lewis has not being in trouble with the gardaí aside from this incident.

Counsel for Flood Wiley, Michael Bowman BL, said his client graduated from school and now studies and teaches English in Spain.

He said he was a “decorated and honoured” rugby player with his school.

He said he foolishly got involved in the fight “out of misplaced loyalty” and will now have a conviction for the rest of his life.

Breffni Gordon BL, representing Lewis, said he was a keen sportsman who has now completed his degree in UCD and intends to go on to complete a masters.

Counsel said he intends to go into law and this conviction will “trip him up at every stage of his life.”

Mr Gordon handed in several references attesting to Lewis’s popularity and honesty including one from the headmaster of Clongowes.

Judge Carmel Stewart said she wanted time to consider the matter and remanded both men on bail until next week.

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