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‘Not Fáilte Ireland material for Ennis’ – court told chainsaw used in daytime confrontation between feuding families

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A chainsaw was one of the weapons allegedly produced during a “horrible, unsavoury” incident last Sunday afternoon at an Ennis housing estate.

After viewing CCTV evidence at Ennis District Court of the flashpoint at Davitt Terrace, Cloughleigh, at 12.30pm last Sunday afternoon, solicitor for three accused men in the case, Daragh Hassett admitted the video “is not Bord Fáilte material for Ennis”.

On Wednesday, Mr Hassett told the court: “It is unsavoury. It is horrible and it shouldn’t have happened but my clients say they are not guilty of the charges before the court.”

Mr Hassett said that the CCTV footage produced by the State doesn’t help the State case in the charges against his clients.

Mr Hassett said that the footage showed one man with an “active chainsaw” who is not one of his own clients.

Objecting to bail against the three accused, Bernard McDonagh (55), Thomas McDonagh (21) and Michael McDonagh (32) all with addresses at the unofficial halting site at Kilrush Rd, Ennis, Det Garda Noelle Bergin said that a feud between two sides of the wider McDonagh family is currently “volatile”.

The charges against the three McDonaghs arise from the three allegedly going to the property of cousins at Davitt Terrace, Cloughleigh, last Sunday afternoon.

Thomas McDonagh is charged with producing a slash hook during the incident while Bernard McDonagh and Michael McDonagh are each charged with producing a knife in the course of a dispute.

Thomas McDonagh is also facing three counts of alleged criminal damage.

Det Bergin said that “this is an incident which is part of an ongoing feud between two traveller families. A number of persons arising from this feud are currently before the courts charged with serious offences”.

Det Bergin said that “it is the Garda belief that tensions between both sides are extremely high”.

Det Bergin said that Bernie McDonagh is the father of the McDonaghs and alleged that he “is the driving force behind the feud at this time”.

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Mr Hassett said that his instructions are that "there is no feud, there is nothing to row about”.

Mr Hassett said that there are tensions around the recent death by suicide of a man in the wider McDonagh family “and about the acceptance and non-acceptance by family members about what could have been done to stop their relative from taking his own life. This will be resolved in time".

Mr Hassett said that one of his clients, Michael McDonagh “lost a child recently and that has been used by his cousins to taunt him”.

Mr Hassett said that one of the complainants against his three clients put a video on YouTube claiming that injuries he got were self-inflicted to try to bring charges against someone else.

Mr Hassett said that his clients live in an unofficial halting site that was a recent “cause celebre” in the Supreme Court where the court decided that the McDonagh family should stay there.

Mr Hassett argued that bail could be granted to his clients with strong conditions such as daily signing on and curfews with a cash lodgement.

However, Judge Mary Larkin refused bail to all three and remanded them in custody to re-appear in court via video link on June 8 next.


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