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Man accused of Hell Fire Club attack ‘felt weird air about place’

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The scene of the incident in which three people were hurt. Photo: Arthur Carron

The scene of the incident in which three people were hurt. Photo: Arthur Carron

The scene of the incident in which three people were hurt. Photo: Arthur Carron

A man stabbed a 17-year-old camper in the throat and chest and hit two other teenagers with a log in an unprovoked attack at the Hell Fire Club in the Dublin Mountains, it has been alleged.

Michael Corbett (26) said he felt he was going to be attacked and there was a “weird air about the place”, a court was told.

Judge Michael Walsh refused to grant him bail following garda objections when he appeared before Dublin District Court yesterday charged with three counts of assault causing harm.

The 17-year-old boy and the other two alleged victims – a young man and woman, both aged 18 – were treated in Tallaght Hospital and released following the incident on Monday.

Serious

Father-of-one Mr Corbett, with an address at Woodbine Close, Raheny, was remanded in custody to appear again in court next week.

Gda Pauline Glennon said the accused made no reply to the charges after caution at Tallaght Garda Station. She said it was possible

further serious charges would be brought against him.

Objecting to bail, Gda Glennon cited the seriousness of the allegations. 

She said the three young people had been camping at the Hell Fire Club at Killakee, Rathfarnham, on Monday. The officer said there was a green area that people camped on.

It was alleged that the 17-year-old was stabbed across his throat into his chest and was also assaulted with a log.

“The other two alleged injured parties were also assaulted with the log and also punched in the face,” said Gda Glennon.

Mr Corbett was arrested at the scene a few hours later and made “certain admissions” while in custody.

Applying for bail, defence solicitor Tracy Horan said the accused had been totally cooperative throughout his detention and explained the circumstances of what had happened, according to him.

“In his defence, he felt he was going to be attacked and there was a weird air about the place,” said Ms Horan.

Gda Glennon replied that the accused had been in the company of the three youths for two hours before the incident and they would say it was “completely unprovoked”.

Ms Horan said Mr Corbett had felt it was a “two-way thing” and he had restrained the first alleged victim.

The lawyer said the knife was not the accused’s but was a camping knife that one of the alleged victims had brought to the mountain.

The three, who were strangers to the accused, were treated in hospital before being released on the same night.

Gda Glennon said the accused had stated that he saw the knife on the ground while they were collecting wood, picked it up and put it to the first youth’s chest and it “sprung off”.

The court heard the accused had got a taxi to the mountain.

Psychiatric

Ms Horan said Mr Corbett had made full admissions that he was in the area. The accused was not working and his son had just had his first birthday.

Judge Walsh refused bail and remanded Mr Corbett in custody, to appear in court again next Wednesday. He recommended psychiatric assessment for Mr Corbett at the request of Ms Horan, who said there were “very serious underlying psychiatric difficulties”.

The Hell Fire Club on top of Montpelier Hill in the Dublin Mountains is a popular hiking and camping spot that commands impressive views of the capital. It takes its name from the ruins of an 18th-century hunting lodge that stands at the summit.


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