File image of Limerick hurler Kyle Hayes

Man tells court he saw Kyle Hayes and others punching man lying in 'foetal position' on the street

Hayes is charged with assault causing harm to Cillian McCarthy (24) on 28 October, 2019.

A MAN TOLD the trial of five-time All Ireland wining Limerick hurler, Kyle Hayes, who is charged with assault causing harm to a man outside a nightclub, that he saw the hurler and others standing on and punching the alleged victim who was lying in the “foetal position” on the street.

Kyle Hayes, (25), of Ballyashea, Kildimo, Co Limerick, is on trial before the Limerick Circuit Criminal Court charged with assault causing harm to Cillian McCarthy (24) on 28 October, 2019.

Hayes, a four-time All Star hurler, and Young Hurler of the Year 2018, is also charged with two counts of violent disorder on the same date. He denies all three charges.

Following legal argument in the case today, Judge Dermot Sheehan, told the jury it did not have to concern itself any longer with another accused in the case, Jai Chaudri (22) of Carheeny, Kildimo, who was before the court on one count of violent disorder and one count of assault causing harm to McCarthy.

Christopher Heelan, a native of Caherdavin, told the court that, on the night, he saw Kyle Hayes “pacing up and down and looking quite angry” outside the Icon nightclub, Upper Denmark Street, Limerick City.

The court has also seen CCTV footage allegedly showing Kyle Hayes and others assaulting McCarthy on the dance floor of the club earlier on the night, as well as footage of Hayes and others allegedly following McCarthy out of the nightclub.

The court heard Hayes warned McCarthy – who was chatting to two girls he knew inside the club – to “stay the fuck away” from the girls, and shouted at him “do you know who the fuck I am?”.

Heelan, giving direct evidence to the court, said he was walking along the street outside the club in the early hours of the morning and came upon his friend Cillian McCarthy whose face and clothes were covered in blood.

Heelan said he tried to intervene when “a number of men” surrounded McCarthy and their friend Craig Cosgrave and started assaulting them while they were “on the ground in the foetal position”.

“It looked to me that, at times, that he (Cillian) was being stood on,” Heelan said.

Heelan – who identified Kyle Hayes as one of the accused in court as being involved in the attack – said he saw the well known Limerick hurler “punch Cillian McCarthy on the (ground) and stand on him as well”.

Heelan said the group of males “departed the scene” when gardaí arrived on the street with their emergency blue lights activated.

“I waited with Cillian until an ambulance arrived, he seemed to be very weak and bloodied, his t-shirt and jumper were covered in blood.”

Earlier, Aislinn Condon, a qualified primary school teacher from Crecora, told the court that Kyle Hayes approached Craig Cosgrave who was in her company at a bar in the nightclub earlier on on the night, and was asking him why he was dancing with another girl who was also one of their friends, and who was seeing a friend of Kyle Hayes at the time.

Condon said Cosgrave tried to explain to Mr Hayes that he was just friends with the young woman but that Kyle Hayes didn’t appear to be happy with this explanation.

Asked by Mr O’Sullivan if she felt it was a “threatening scenario”, Condon replied “yes”.

Condon agreed with Hayes’ barrister, senior counsel Brian McInerney, that if one of her friends was seeing someone and they were being flirted with by a male that she and her friends would tell the male to “butt out”, and that if he didn’t comply, they might use “unparliamentary language” to tell him.

Craig Cosgrave who it was heard threw a punch earlier on the night inside the nightclub in trying to defend McCarthy is charged with one count of violent disorder, which he denies.

The trial continues next Tuesday.