*Photograph: John Mangan

A MALE wheelchair user sustained dental injuries and a possible fractured eye socket when allegedly “trampled” on by three males in pursuit of another man during a day-light alleged ‘affray’ incident in Ennis town centre last month, a court has heard.

At Ennis District Court, Garda Caitriona Mangan told the court that Ned O’Donoghue is one of three men suspected to have ‘trampled’ over the innocent bystander and wheelchair user whose wheelchair toppled over during the alleged affray at around 3pm close to the junction of Station Rd and O’Connell Street, Ennis on February 21st last.

Mr O’Donoghue who has no previous convictions denies trampling over the wheelchair user and two charges before the court.

Garda Mangan objected to bail for Mr O’Donoghue (26) of 1 Knockaneen, Tulla Rd, Ennis after telling the court that there is an active feud between the O’Donoghues and the Dohertys.

She said, “Ned O’ Donoghue and his family are currently involved in a serious ongoing feud in the Ennis area with the Doherty family”.

Garda Mangan said, “During the last number of years, a large number of serious incidents have been reported to Gardaí including assaults, arsons and shootings which have been reported by both sides”.

Garda Mangan told the court that the February 21st incident “has been the catalyst to a serious assault in which Ned O’Donoghue’s father was a victim at Castlerea on March 1st where he received injuries from a machete attack while attending a boxing match”.

She said, “The feud is extremely active and publicised on social media”.

Solicitor for Ned O’Donoghue, Țara Godfrey told the court that Mr O’Donoghue’s father is in an induced coma at a hospital in Galway arising from the Castlerea assault on him.

Garda Mangan told the court that the Ennis incident at 3pm took place in the vicinity of Ennis Cathedral and a national school where parents were gathering to collect children

She said, “An innocent bystander in a wheelchair received two broken teeth and bruising to his face. The State fears that an escalation in this feud could result in further injuries to innocent bystanders”.

Garda Mangan said that the wheelchair user “has had a lot of hospital appointments due to his injuries”.

On the alleged incident, Garda Mangan stated that Mr O’Donoghue got out of a car near the Cathedral Church in Ennis and pursued a man on foot and made threats to him to ‘drop the charges’ concerning a named individual “otherwise we are going to kill you, you are dead’.

Garda Mangan stated that the alleged injured party also alleged that Mr O’Donoghue “was in possession of a knife” during the pursuit.

Mr O’Donoghue is charged with affray and possession of a weapon contrary to Section 11 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act.

Ms Godfrey said that her client denies the charges or that he made any threat and offered a conflicting account of what occurred.

Ms Godfrey said that when Mr O’Donoghue got out of the car, he was attacked and had a substance thrown into his eyes by a female that caused a burning sensation. She said that he went to Shannondoc after the incident where he showed symptoms consistent with that narrative.

Ms Godfrey said that Mr O’Donoghue “certainly didn’t tip over a man in a wheelchair. He says that he didn’t topple that man and it is not on CCTV footage”.

Ms Godfrey stated that CCTV footage does show Mr O’Donoghue getting back into a car and departing the scene.

Judge Alec Gabbett granted conditional bail to Mr O’Donoghue on condition that he remain out of Co Clare pending the outcome of the case and Mr O’Donoghue confirmed that he is going to reside at an address in Co Kildare and his wife and four young children will also be moving away from their Ennis home to live with him.

Mr O’Donoghue also provided a €2,000 surety to the court as part of his bail conditions.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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