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Street brawl with ‘hair-pulling’ women in Clonakilty lands six people in court

September 21st, 2022 5:05 PM

By Southern Star Team

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SIX people have ended up in court following a mass street brawl in Clonakilty last November, which saw one man seriously assaulted, while women were involved in hair-pulling, the judge was told.

The dramatic facts of the case were outlined to Judge James McNulty at Clonakilty District Court last week who described it as ‘very bad conduct’ for six adults.

Ben Robinson (29) of 8 McCurtain Hill, Clonakilty pleaded guilty to assault causing harm, affray and criminal damage, while Max Fell (36) of Aultagh Wood, Dunmanway pleaded guilty to assault causing harm and affray also.

Joe Turner (31) of 1 Church View, Derrigra, Enniskeane also pleaded guilty to assault causing harm and affray while Orla Robinson (31) of 18 Ros Gael, Dunmanway, pleaded guilty to affray.

Uisce Barry (31) of 1 Well Court, Clonakilty pleaded guilty to affray, and Niamh McNamara (34) of 22 Tawnies Crescent, Clonakilty, pleaded guilty to affray. Sgt Paul Kelly told the court that the incident occurred  on November 28th last where two different groups had been socialising in GG’s Gin Bar on McCurtain Hill.

‘They were sitting in close proximity to each other and the females in both groups developed what was described as an unsavoury relationship and words were exchanged on leaving the pub,’ said Sgt Kelly.

‘It continued outside the bar where both groups were arguing and one of the group, Luke Kelleher, was seriously assaulted, while one female was pulling the hair off another female.’

When gardaí arrived on the scene on Pearse Street 1.03am they met Mr Kelleher who was distressed after getting several punches to his head. He told them he had been socialising with his girlfriend, Uisce Barry and her friend Niamh McNamara in the bar earlier before the assault occurred.

Gardaí downloaded CCTV of the incident and a number of people were identified from this, including Ben Robinson, who was identified as the main culprit for the assault on Mr Kelleher as it showed him hitting Mr Kelleher a number of times. Footage also showed both Mr Fell and Mr Turner also assaulting him.

Solicitor Conrad Murphy said his client, Niamh McNamara, who works in retail, is ‘embarrassed and apologetic’ about the incident and has never been before the court before.

Judge McNulty remanded her on continuing bail to appear in court again on March 7th 2020 and told her she will need to start saving as she will need in the region of €2,000 in court on that occasion.

Mr Murphy, who also represented Uisce Barry, said his client, a mum of three children including twins, has no previous convictions and intends to pursue a college course in October. She was remanded on continuing bail to appear on March 7th 2023 also and Judge McNulty directed that a probation report be prepared on her.

Solicitor Michael Quinlan, who represented the other four defendants, said Ben Robinson did not intentionally cause criminal damage to the wing mirror of a car during the brawl and Judge McNulty directed him to pay €250 to the injured party. Mr Quinlan said his client, who is a dad of two, and the primary carer at home, made full admissions when interviewed by gardaí.

Judge McNulty was told that he has five previous convictions, including one for possession of drugs for sale or supply from March of last year, where he was bound to the peace for 12 months and that this incident occurred during this period. Judge McNulty requested a probation report on Mr Robinson  and remanded him on continuing bail to appear in court again on November 15th.

Mr Quinlan said Orla Robinson, who is a mum of two children, has no previous convictions and is ‘ashamed’ of the incident.

‘She had come to Clonakilty for the marathon and emotions took over and she apologises,’ said Mr Quinlan.

Judge McNulty directed that a probation report be prepared as well as an assessment on her suitability for community service and remanded her on continuing bail to appear in court again on November 15th.

‘She is involved in serious public offending and it’s a poor example for her children and it’s alarming,’ he said.

The court heard that Joe Turner, who is a dad of three, has one previous conviction, and is from England originally and works in IT.

‘He made full admissions and he’s ashamed to be in court,’ said Mr Quinlan.

Judge McNulty also directed a probation report be prepared and remanded him on continuing bail to appear in court again on March 7th 2023. He said it would allow time for him to come up with €2,000, which could be the difference between a suspended sentence or serving a sentence.

The final defendant, Max Fell, who works as a farrier, has one previous conviction and is a dad of a teenage daughter. Judge McNulty requested a probation report and an assessment of suitability for community service and remanded him on continuing bail to appear in court again on March 7th 2023.

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