Northern Ireland

Caolan Mooney: Court hears bottle thrown before attack

Caolan Mooney Image copyright Inpho
Image caption Caolan Mooney was taken to Daisy Hill hospital, then transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital

A court has heard that Down GAA star Caolan Mooney has been interviewed in relation to the alleged throwing of a bottle, which cut the face of a disabled man.

The alleged incident happened moments before Mr Mooney was left unconscious in an attack outside the Canal Court Hotel in Newry on 30 December.

Two men have been charged in connection with the incident.

They appeared at Newry Magistrates' Court in County Down on Wednesday.

Ruairi Connolly, 35, of School Meadow in Newtownhamilton in County Armagh, is charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm upon Caolan Mooney, assaulting his brother Patrick Mooney and affray.

Lee Daniel McKay, 37, who lives in Australia but has an address at Drumalane Park in Newry, is charged with attempting to cause grievous bodily harm to Patrick Mooney and affray.

When asked by Mr Connolly's defence barrister if any of the complainants had been interviewed in relation to the incident, a police officer said one of the two men had.

This matter was raised again by Mr McKay's defence solicitor during an application that his bail terms be relaxed to allow him to return to work in Australia while the case progresses.

"Aren't the facts that a bottle was thrown smashing beside a disabled man and that he got a piece of glass in his eye?" his solicitor asked.

"Mr McKay then confronts Patrick Mooney. The other man [Caolan Mooney] who isn't connected to my client's charges, was interviewed about the bottle?"

The police officer replied that a report has been compiled on the matter, but that she was unaware of what action has been taken in relation to it.

Refusing the bail variation, the judge said that despite Mr McKay's parents offering the deeds of their home as a surety allowing him to return to Australia was, "a risk that can't be managed by variations".

"But if this drags on the application might be renewed or brought before the High Court."

Mr Connolly was released on bail of £300.

The prosecution said they were awaiting the completion of medical reports and the matter will be back in court on 18 February.

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