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Top boxer smashed up van in fight feud

A CHAMPION boxer smashed his cousin's van window while he was stopped in traffic because the man refused a rematch of a bare-knuckle fight, a court heard.

Boxer James Sweeney (26) and his older brother Michael (33) trashed their cousin's vehicle with iron bars over the long-running family feud.

They were both found guilty of criminal damage and breach of the peace.

James Sweeney, an international amateur boxer with several All-Ireland titles, and his brother had denied the charges.

They insisted it was the victim, Owen Collins, who had been pressurising James Sweeney for a rematch and that he had made a false allegation against them.

Judge Catherine Murphy told the accused she would leave them without recorded convictions if they each made €500 charity donations.

She also placed the Sweeneys and Mr Collins on three-year peace bonds, on condition they have no contact with each other.

James Sweeney, of Turnpike Lane, Ballymount, and Michael Sweeney, from Auburn Terrace, Old Kilmainham, will be given the benefit of the Probation Act if the payments are made by next March.

Dublin District Court heard the incident happened at Longmile Road, Walkinstown, on June 7. Mr Collins said in evidence he was driving his Toyota Hiace that morning and had stopped at traffic lights when a Ford Transit van pulled up beside him.


He saw Michael Sweeney jump out with a black iron bar and hitting his passenger window. He saw in his mirrors James Sweeney running around and smashing his back window.

He drove away and a bus pulled in and took him on board while he called the gardai.

Damage of €986 was caused and he was left in fear and in shock.

Mr Collins told the court his cousins were both boxers, James had fought for Ireland.