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Ten charged for Confirmation Mass slash-hook brawl

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Ten charged for Confirmation Mass slash-hook brawl


At last week’s sitting of Castlebar District Court, ten men were formally charged with violent conduct during a fight that broke out at a Confirmation Mass in Ballinrobe last February.
The fight took place at St Mary’s Church, Ballinrobe, on February 28 last. When the charges were read out in court, none of the ten made any comment.
The men charged were Michael Sweeney of 21 Cluain Dara, Knocknacarra, Galway; Gary Sweeney, 4 Bog Road, Ballinrobe; Darren Sweeney, 66 Monalee Manor, Knocknacarra, Galway; David Ward, 1 Abbey View, Ballinrobe; Michael Patrick Sweeney, 5 Bog Road, Ballinrobe; David Sweeney, 4 Bog Road, Ballinrobe; Thomas Sweeney, 1 Corr na gLoch, New Street, Ballinrobe; Paddy Sweeney, 3 Bridget Street, Ballinrobe; Michael Sweeney, 66 Monalee Manor, Knocknacarra, Galway; and Martin Sweeney, 3 Bridge Street, Ballinrobe.
Superintendent Joe Doherty explained that the Director of Public Prosecutions has directed a trial on indictment if they pleaded guilty but if they pleaded guilty, the DPP would accept that the matters would be dealt with summarily.
Solicitors for the ten men sought statements and video footage, which included footage of the alleged incident taken on camcorders, which was granted. Judge Mary Devins remanded the men on continuing bail to appear before the court on October 26 for instructions.
The brawl erupted at the end of the Confirmation service attended by 97 local children. It is believed that the fight was related to an ongoing Traveller family feud. A slash-hook and a hurl were among the weapons understood to have been produced during the brawl.
At a previous court sitting related to the case, four men were charged with possession of an article with intent to cause injury:  Jason Sweeney of 4 Bog Road, Ballinrobe; Martin Sweeney of 6 Bog Road, Ballinrobe; Michael Sweeney of 19 Churchview, Ballinrobe; and Patrick Sweeney of 19 Churchview Ballinrobe