| 12.7°C Dublin

Man extradited from UK to face assault charges

A FATHER of two has been extradited from the UK to Ireland on serious assault charges following a violent clash between Traveller families at Dublin's Smithfield horse fair three years ago.

Simon Quilligan (31) was refused bail at Dublin District Court after a judge was told he was alleged to have nearly severed one man's arm with a slash hook and inflicted serious head wounds on another.

Gardai alleged that Mr Quilligan had evaded them by travelling around Europe since the horse fair clash, during which another man fired a gun "indiscriminately" into a crowd.

Judge John O'Neill remanded him in custody for a week for the preparation of a book of evidence. Mr Quilligan, of no fixed address is charged with assault causing serious harm to Wesley McDonagh at Smithfield on March 6, 2011.


He is also charged with assault causing harm to Michael McInerney, violent disorder and producing a slash hook in the course of a dispute.

Garda Colm Kelly of the Bridewell Station said the accused was arrested by police in England on July 19 and returned to Ireland yesterday.

Mr Quilligan made no reply to any of the charges when they were put to him. The court heard the DPP directed trial on indictment.

Garda Kelly objected to bail on the grounds of the seriousness of the charges, the strength of the proposed evidence, a belief that the accused was a flight risk and that he would interfere with witnesses.

He said the incident was a violent fracas that broke out between a number of Traveller families. It was alleged that the accused attacked members of the McDonagh and McInerney families with a slash hook.

He was alleged to have struck Wesley McDonagh, almost severing his left arm. Mr McDonagh underwent a number of operations to save the arm but was left without full function of the limb.

The alleged attack on Mr McInerney resulted in a serious laceration to his head. CCTV cameras captured the incident, as well as RTE cameras.

Garda Kelly said the accused got a ferry to Holland days after the incident, had moved around that country, Belgium and the UK and was "actively pursued" by gardai.

On the ferry back to Ireland, he allegedly told the garda he had "a million pounds buried in the ground".

The court heard a number of other people, including the accused's brother Christopher, have already been sentenced for their role in the trouble.

Applying for bail, the accused's lawyer said Mr Quilligan had initially been arrested by Belgian police. The accused had then been on his way home through England when his "plans were interrupted" and he was arrested there. He consented to being returned to Ireland.

Mr Quilligan said he would abide by any bail conditions, including surrendering his passport. Judge O'Neill refused bail and remanded him in custody to appear in Cloverhill District Court next week.