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File image of Limerick hurler Kyle Hayes EVAN TREACY/INPHO

Limerick hurler Kyle Hayes punched and stamped on man lying on street, court told

Two gardaí will give evidence they saw Kyle Hayes and others assaulting the man as he lay on a street outside the ICON nightclub.

A MAN TOLD a court today he was chased, tripped, punched, and kicked as he lay on the ground by a group of males, which included five times All-Ireland winning Limerick hurler, Kyle Hayes.

Cillian McCarthy, (24), told Limerick Circuit Criminal Court that Kyle Hayes (25) and others “punched” and “stamped” on him after he was “tripped” to the ground outside the Icon nightclub, Limerick City, on 28 October, 2019.

Two gardaí will give evidence they saw Mr Hayes and others assaulting Mr McCarthy as he lay on a street outside the nightclub, on the night in question, prosecution counsel, John O’Sullivan BL, has told the court.

Giving direct evidence at Limerick Circuit Criminal Court where Kyle Hayes and two other accused men are on trial, Cillian McCarthy alleged Kyle Hayes also assaulted him inside the club earlier on the night after he became angry that Mr McCarthy was chatting to two females at the bar in the club.

Mr McCarthy alleged Kyle Hayes approached him and his friend Craig Cosgrave in Smyth’s Bar, and warned them to “stay the fuck away” from the two girls.

Mr McCarthy said Kyle Hayes became “aggressive” and shouted at him “Do you know who the fuck I am?”

The witness, who said he had shared a litre bottle of Captain Morgan’s rum with Craig Cosgrave prior to them attending the bar together, said he tried explaining to Kyle Hayes that the girls were old school friends of his, but he (Kyle Hayes) did not want to hear it”.

“I just walked away, I knew where it was going, I thought it was going to lend towards a fight – I didn’t want that,” Mr McCarthy said.

He alleged that when he met the two girls again later on, on the club’s dance floor, Kyle Hayes became “very aggressive” and “charged” towards him.

“He (Kyle Hayes) told me he was getting sick of me, he told me if I wanted ‘to do it’, we’d ‘do it’,” Mr McCarthy said.

Another man who was with Kyle Hayes “threw the first punch, hitting me in my right eye”, Mr McCarthy claimed.

He said Kyle Hayes and the other man began “punching me continuously into the head”.

He said he received more blows to the head when others joined in the brawl.

Mr McCarthy said he was removed from the dance floor by security staff and admitted he was “mad” by what happened.

“I was mad, I was pain, and I was agitated, I won’t lie”.

“My right eye was pounding, I could feel blood dripping down my face, it was getting hard to see out though it (my eye), as it was swelling up a lot.”

Mr McCarthy told the court, after CCTV footage of the alleged dance floor brawl was played to the jury: “You can clearly see Kyle Hayes jumping in and punching me.”

Mr McCarthy said when he eventually left the club bruised and bloodied, he was pursued by Kyle Hayes and others.

He said Kyle Hayes caught up with him “and told me I was all alone now and he’d dig the head off me”.

Mr McCarthy said he told Kyle Hayes to “fuck off, that I’d already got a beating”.

He said he “started to panic” when other males joined Kyle Hayes across the street from him.

Mr McCarthy said a friend of his then informed him that despite his best efforts to try and calm the situation, there was “no reasoning with Kyle Hayes who said he wanted to fight me, one-to-one” – a claim refuted by Kyle Hayes’ barrister, senior counsel, Brian McInerney.

Mr McCarthy further alleged that Kyle Hayes and others ran towards Craig Cosgrave – who had allegedly thrown punches during the dance floor melee earlier on the night while trying to protect Mr McCarthy – as he left the venue.

Mr McCarthy said “it all kicked off again” and he ran towards the parties “to try and help Craig, who was on his own”.

He said Kyle Hayes and others began “throwing punches left, right and centre, trying to attack us”.

Mr McCarthy said the group chased them up the street, and he was knocked to the ground.

“That’s when they started stamping on me.”

“They were hitting me as I was running away, I was tripped onto the ground and I was attacked and stamped on.”

Asked by John O’Sullivan, for the DPP, who had stamped on him, Mr McCarthy replied: “Kyle Hayes, Jai Chaudri, (and others).”

Mr McCarthy said that “about five or six” males, including “Kyle Hayes” and “Jai Chaudri” were “standing over me, stamping all over me with their feet”.

He said that “between punches and kicks” he suffered “roughly about 20 continuous blows” to his head and body.

He told the court he sustained a “fracture” to a bone under his right eye and underwent surgery to “repair” it and “put it back into place”.

Under cross examination by Kyle Hayes barrister, Brian McInerney SC, Mr McCarthy denied he was the “aggressor” on the night and that his motivation was to “do damage” to Kyle Hayes.

Mr McCarthy denied that all Kyle Hayes said to him on the night was to stop talking to a girl who was in a relationship with one of his friends.

Mr McCarthy reiterated that Mr Hayes became aggressive and abusive to him while he was chatting to girls who were friends of his since their schooldays.

Mr McCarthy also denied suggestions by Mr McInerney that Mr Hayes had only approached him on the street outside the club after he had become embroiled in an incident outside the club with Kyle Hayes’ brother Cian Hayes.

Kyle Hayes, of Ballyashea, Kildimo, Co Limerick, denies one count of assault causing harm to Mr McCarthy and two counts of violent disorder, inside and outside Icon nightclub, on 28 October, 2019.

Jai Chaudri (22), of Carheeny, Kildimo, denies one count of assaulting Mr McCarthy causing him harm, as well as one count of violent disorder, on the same night.

Craig Cosgrave, (24), of Caherally, Grange, Co Limerick, denies one count of violent disorder.

The trial, being heard before Judge Dermot Sheehan, and a jury of seven men and five women, at Limerick Circuit Criminal Court, resumes tomorrow.

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