Limerick hurler Kyle Hayes 'kicked and punched' man lying on street, court told

Limerick Hurler Kyle Hayes 'Kicked And Punched' Man Lying On Street, Court Told
Kyle Hayes (25) is charged with one count of assault causing harm and two counts of violent disorder. Photo: Inpho
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David Raleigh

Updated: 6pm

All-Ireland winning Limerick hurler Kyle Hayes, "kicked and punched" a man who was lying defenceless on a street, after becoming "upset" that the man had spoken to two females in a nightclub in which he was socialising, a court has heard.


Mr Hayes "fled" from the scene of the alleged "attack", outside ICON nightclub on Upper Denmark Street in Limerick City, but was arrested by gardaí a short time later, Limerick Circuit Criminal Court heard on Tuesday.

Two gardaí allegedly witnessed Mr Hayes and others attacking the alleged victim outside the nightclub on October 28th, 2019.

Mr Hayes (25), of Ballyashea, Kildimo, Co Limerick, is charged with one count of assault causing harm to Cillian McCarthy (24), of Toureen, Ballysimon, Co Limerick, outside ICON nightclub in the early hours of October 28th, 2019, and two counts of violent disorder.

Mr Hayes' co-accused, Craig Cosgrave (24), of Caherally, Grange, Co Limerick, is charged with one count of violent disorder.


A third accused, Jai Chaudri (22), of Carheeny, Kildimo, Co Limerick, is also charged with assault causing harm to Mr McCarthy and one count of violent disorder outside ICON on the same date.

All three have pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

'It didn't sit well with him'

Prosecution Counsel, John O’Sullivan BL, told the jury they will hear evidence that Mr McCarthy, whom he described as a "hard working, honest and truthful" qualified carpenter, had been socialising in ICON in the company of Craig Cosgrave, "who at the time, was a friend of his".

"Cillian McCarthy got talking to two girls, and it appears that Kyle Hayes was upset about this; it didn’t sit well with him (Kyle Hayes)," Mr O’Sullivan said.


"Putting it in plain terms, Cillian McCarthy was set upon by Kyle Hayes and others, and numerous punches were thrown," counsel added.

Mr O’Sullivan told the jury they will see CCTV footage harvested by gardaí from the nightclub and other local bars and clubs, "which will tell you what happened".

"It is the prosecution’s case that Kyle Hayes and others pursued Cillian McCarthy outside the nightclub, and that Kyle Hayes attacked Cillian McCarthy on the public street."

Mr O’Sullivan said Mr Chaudri joined Mr Hayes in assaulting Mr McCarthy while he lay on the ground.


Mr O’Sullivan said there was no CCTV footage of the alleged attack on the street, but two gardaí, who he described as "very important witnesses" who were on the scene at the time, "will give evidence that they saw Kyle Hayes and others punch and kick Cillian McCarthy while he was down on the ground".

"You will hear evidence that Kyle Hayes fled the scene and he was captured (by gardaí) a short time later," counsel added.

Mr McCarthy suffered a number of facial injuries in the incident, including a fracture to his right eye socket.

"None of these accused men had been under any threat whatsoever...and the violence inflicted on Cillian McCarthy was totally unjustified," Mr O'Sullivan said.


Summing up his introduction, he added: "Cillian McCarthy offended Kyle Hayes by simply engaging in conversation with two girls - that’s it, that’s what started it all off.

"Yes, you might say this was trivial, but sadly the actions of Kyle Hayes and others were not trivial...there wasn't the slightest justification or the violence inflicted on Cillian McCarthy."


Detective Garda Barry Moylan, of Henry Street Garda Station, played CCTV footage taken from inside ICON nightclub from the night of the incident, showing a fight breaking out on the dance floor.

Under cross-examination by Craig Cosgrave’s barrister, Seamus Roche SC, Det Gda Moylan said from watching the CCTV footage it appeared that Mr Hayes and another unidentified male had "instigated" the fight on the dance floor.

Det Gda Moylan added that he accepted Mr Cosgrave was "not the instigator" of this incident, but said he had thrown a punch during the fight which connected with a female bouncer.

The Garda added that he accepted Mr Cosgrave got involved in the brawl as he was "concerned" for Mr McCarthy’s welfare.

Det Gda Moylan also agreed with Mr Roche that it was alleged Mr Hayes had approached Mr McCarthy and Mr Cosgrave earlier on the night, in Smyth’s Bar, which is located on the ground floor of the nightclub, and that words were exchanged between the group.

The CCTV footage from the dance floor later on in the night appeared to show Mr Hayes again approaching Mr McCarthy moments before punches were thrown at Mr McCarthy.

Det Gda Moylan agreed the footage appeared to show a top worn by Mr McCarthy’s being pulled before a number of punches are rained down on him “by a number of individuals”.

“There’s a number of strikes from numerous individuals, including Kyle Hayes, which is discernible from the CCTV footage,” the Garda said.

More footage shown to the court showed Mr McCarthy being followed out of the venue by Mr Hayes.

Footage also showed Mr Hayes, another man, and Mr McCarthy involved in what appeared to be more exchange of words, and Mr Mr McCarthy walking away from a group which included Mr Hayes and Mr Chaudri.

It is alleged that gardaí later saw Mr Hayes and Mr Chaudri kicking and punching Mr McCarthy while he wass lying on the street near the nightclub.

Det Gda Moylan told the court that CCTV footage from the area showed Mr Hayes receiving a grey hoody from another male, which he put on before the pair ran away from the vicinity of the nightclub.

Under further cross examination, Det Gda Moylan agreed with Mr Hayes' barrister that his client left the nightclub "under his own steam", while Mr McCarthy had been "ejected" from the club by security staff.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

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