Facebook row led to armed fight outside Ennis shop

A row on Facebook led to an armed confrontation between two men at a busy filling station in Ennis, a court has heard.

At Ennis District Court last Wednesday, Sgt Aiden Lonergan described how customers and staff locked themselves into Liddy’s Costcutter on the Mill Road after a fight broke out beteeen John Anthony McDonagh (28) and another man at 9.25pm on May 28, 2018.

Sgt Lonergan said gardai responded to reports of a fight between Mr McDonagh and another man who had his top off.

The court heard cctv shows Mr McDonagh retrieving a hockey stick and chasing the other man alleged to have been involved.

Sgt Lonergan said the background to the incident involved a row on the social media site, Facebook.

Defence solicitor John Casey said his client did not cover himself in glory but was provoked by the other man. That man is facing trial in Ennis Circuit Criminal Court on charges arising from the same alleged incident.

Mr Casey said his client would say he was approached by the other man and got a “hammering”. He said Mr McDonagh picked up the hockey stick as a “defence utensil.”

“Id say he’s well able to hammer himself,” Judge Patrick Durcan remarked.

John Anthony McDonagh, with an address at Abbey Court, Limerick Road, Ennis, pleaded guilty to charges of affray and production of a hockey stick during the course of a dispute at Liddy’s Costcutter, Mill Road, Ennis on May 28, 2018.

The court heard he has 28 previous convictions, the majority of which are for road traffic offences.

The court heard the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) consented to the case being heard in the district court.

Judge Patrick Durcan said he was recommending Mr McDonagh for 120 hours of community service. The case was adjourned pending the completion of a report to assess Mr McDonagh’s suitability for community service.

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