A man allegedly “punched and kicked” by five-time All-Ireland winning Limerick hurler Kyle Hayes, while he was lying on the ground outside a nightclub, was the victim of a “vicious assault” by a number of men inside the nightclub earlier that night, a court heard today.

Kyle Hayes, (25), of Ballyahsea, Kildimo, Co Limerick is on trial before the Limerick Circuit Criminal Court, charged with assault causing harm to Cillian McCarthy, (24), from Toureen, Ballysimon, Limerick, outside the ICON nightclub, Upper Denmark Street, Limerick City, on October 28, 2019.

Mr Hayes, a four-time All Star hurler, is also charged with one count of committing violent disorder inside the nightclub and one count of committing violent disorder outside the venue, on the same night.

A co-accused, Jai Chaudri, (22), of Carheeny, Kildimo, Co Limerick, is charged with assaulting Mr McCarthy causing him harm, and one count of committing violent disorder outside the ICON nightclub, on the same date.

READ MORE: All-Ireland winning hurler allegedly 'kicked and punched' man lying on street

A third accused, Craig Cosgrave, (24), of Caherally, Grange, Co Limerick, is charged with one count of committing violent disorder inside the ICON on the same date.

All three accused deny the charges.

In court today, defence barrister for Kyle Hayes, Brian McInerney SC, cross-examining Limerick-based Detective Garda Barry Moylan, suggested that CCTV footage played by the detective garda of the aftermath of the dance floor brawl, appeared to show the alleged victim, Cillian McCarthy, being “ejected” from the ICON by the club’s security staff.

Detective Garda Moylan said he could not definitively say if Mr McCarthy was being ejected, but argued that he may have been “assisted” out of the venue by security staff as he was “certainly, unsteady on his feet” as he had suffered a “vicious assault” on the dance-floor.

Detective Moylan agreed with Mr McInerney that it appeared from the footage which was played in court, that the ICON’s security staff were “removing people from the premises, but my client (Kyle Hayes) wasn't removed by security staff”.

Kyle Hayes, 25. Picture Brendan Gleeson
Kyle Hayes, 25.

Detective Moylan, who was playing clips of the CCTV footage to the court, disagreed with Mr McInerney that Mr McCarthy seemed to “push somebody backwards” on the dance floor of the club prior to brawl breaking out.

Judge Dermot Sheehan remarked that an “outstanding feature” of the CCTV footage of the brawl was that “a young lady continues dancing in the middle of all of this”.

Detective Moylan said Mr McCarthy was “the subject of an attack by a number of males”.

On Tuesday the detective stated the CCTV footage showed a number of punches being thrown on the dance floor by a number of people “including Kyle Hayes”.

He said it appeared Kyle Hayes and another male had “instigated” the brawl.

Outlining the State’s allegations on Tuesday, prosecuting counsel, John O’Sullivan BL, told the court that Cillian McCarthy “got talking to two girls, and it appears that Kyle Hayes was upset about this, it didn’t sit well with him (Kyle Hayes)”.

“Putting it in plain terms, Cillian McCarthy was set upon by Kyle Hayes and others, and numerous punches were thrown.”

Cillian McCarthy, Toureen, Ballysimon, Limerick victim of alleged assault. Picture Brendan Gleeson
Cillian McCarthy, victim of alleged assault.

Mr O’Sullivan said it was the prosecution’s case “that Kyle Hayes and others pursued Cillian McCarthy outside the nightclub and that Kyle Hayes attacked Cillian McCarthy on the public street”.

Jai Chaudri joined in the attack outside the ICON, Mr O’Sullivan alleged.

Mr O’Sullivan said the court would hear evidence from two Gardai who would “give evidence that they saw Kyle Hayes and others punch and kick Cillian McCarthy while he was down on the ground”.

“You will hear evidence that Kyle Hayes fled the scene and he was captured (by Gardai) a short time later.”

“Cillian McCarthy offended Kyle Hayes by simply engaging in conversation with two girls - that’s it, that’s what started it all off,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

The alleged victim, Cillian McCarthy, is expected to give direct evidence to the court when the trial resumes tomorrow (Thursday).

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