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Blood-drenched men in court for Christening row

FIVE men have appeared in court after a mass brawl amongst men and women at a hotel where a Christening was being celebrated.

Up to 30 gardai -- including armed members of the Regional Support Unit -- from six garda stations had to be deployed to a hotel in Limerick over the weekend after violence erupted amongst revellers.

It took officers up to 20 minutes to restore calm at the Rathkeale House Hotel on Saturday night as men and women fought in the hotel foyer.


Gardai from Rathkeale had to call on support from their colleagues at five other garda stations -- Newcastle West, Askeaton, Roxboro, Mayorstone and Henry Street -- to overpower those involved at the hotel.

Several cans of pepper spray were used to quell those involved and knives and hurleys were recovered.

Five men appeared at a special sitting of Limerick District Court yesterday after they were arrested in Rathkeale.

All five men are charged with failure to comply with directions from the gardai, using threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour and being intoxicated in a public place giving rise to being a danger to themselves or others on Saturday.

The five are: Stephen Daly (23), of Sharwood Estate, Newcastle West, Co Limerick; Trevor Wall (21), of Chestnut Gardens, Newcastle West; Thomas Keenan (24), of Meelagh View, Mahon, Cork; Daniel O'Brien (19), of Stratton Pines, Bishopstown, Cork and Colm Folan (19), of The Willows, Ballincollig, Cork.

Daly is also charged with the unlawful possession of a stanley blade, while Keenan is also charged with possession of a hurley with intent to intimidate.

Some of those appeared in court with what appeared to be blood-stained shirts.

Bail on behalf of Daly was objected to by the State. Judge Aeneas McCarthy refused the bail application and remanded Daly in custody to appear at Listowel District Court tomorrow.

There were no bail objections for the other four accused and all are expected to appear before Newcastle West District Court on April 10 next.