Witness saw porter hurt at rugby party

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

A HOSPITAL porter who suffered a broken thumb is on sick leave after a public order incident involving Munster rugby hero Doug Howlett.

Aidan Lanigan did not attend work at St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny yesterday.

The revelation came as Munster Rugby admitted the club "regrets" the alleged incidents involving its star players, who were celebrating their annual Christmas party in the city on Monday night.

"Any behaviour found to be unacceptable will be dealt with in the appropriate manner," a Munster spokesman said.

Mr Lanigan did not wish to comment yesterday, however, he indicated that he was in contact with a solicitor over the matter.

He also took to Facebook to Tuesday morning to say that he had a "good nite apart from a broken tumb (sic)".

Munster Rugby said they would not comment on any possible civil action against Howlett, who was arrested by gardai on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly on John Street in Kilkenny city at 1.40am on Tuesday.

The former All-Black was taken to a garda station after the public order incident. He was cautioned by officers about his behaviour. However, he was not fined and he will not be summoned to court.

He did not issue any statement following the incident.

Rugby legend Mick Galwey acted as a "peacemaker" during the players' night out, according to locals in Kilkenny yesterday.

Inspector Aidan Brennan confirmed a "public order incident" involving a number of men had taken place

An eyewitness, who was across the road when the incident happened on the bridge in John Street, said Mr Lanigan's spectacles were "knocked off" during the incident. He said the players were "mostly well behaved" but added that a few had "too many drinks on board".