Concern over feud escalation as brothers are excluded from Rathkeale

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

Brigid Ryan, mother of Thomas and Denis who have now been excluded from the Rathkeale estate where she lives
TWO brothers, whom gardai believe to be central to an ongoing feud with another family, have been now excluded from all the council’s housing estates in Rathkeale and also from their mother’s house in Fairgreen, a housing estate in the town.

TWO brothers, whom gardai believe to be central to an ongoing feud with another family, have been now excluded from all the council’s housing estates in Rathkeale and also from their mother’s house in Fairgreen, a housing estate in the town.

Limerick City and County Council sought the exclusion orders against Thomas and Denis Ryan because they believe there are resonable grounds that anti-social behaviour will occur if they are allowed into the town.

“There are huge concerns at the highest level, at executive level, within the council and at councillor level,” a housing services official told Newcastle West court this Tuesday.

“There is huge concern where this concern is going. The council feels it has to act to protect our tenants and our estates.”

This year alone, there had been two violent incidents in estates, the official said and a serious fracas on the Main St in August. “The feud appears to have escalated in recent times,” he added.

Explaining the background, Sgt Niall Flood told the court: “In the last number of years, there has been a feud between the Ryan family and the Harty family in Askeaton.”

Last January, an exclusion order was obtained against Thomas Ryan, 7 Fairgreen, Rathkeale but who, the sergeant said, also had addresses in Clare and Galway.

The order excluded him from eight council estates and a halting site in Rathkeale but allowed him to visit his mother’s home at Fairgreen, Rathkeale.

“I know he has breached these exlusion orders but nobody has been prepared to make a statement because they are afraid,” the sergeant said. And it was his belief Thomas Ryan was using his mother’s home as a sanctuary.

He cited an incident last August 28 when Thomas Ryan and a number of family members went to the home of an elderly woman in the Cois Deel estate, looking for a member of the Harty family who was not living there.

“They proceeded to break all the windows and doors and destroyed the house inside,” Sgt Flood said. And since last Sunday, he had heard that Thomas Ryan and others were threatening to come back to this house to break it up again.

“The woman has left the house because she is in fear for herself.”

People, he added, were unwilling to make statements because they were afraid of Thomas Ryan and his family.

Solicitor Will Leahy, on behalf of Limerick City and County Council said they were applying for a three-year exclusion order against Denis Ryan, Bay 3, Carrowbrown Halting Site, Headford Rd, Galway, barring him from eight estates and the halting site in Rathkeale, including his mother’s house.

Sgt Flood described him as the main instigator of the dispute and a man who was capable of harming members of the public and of the Gardai.

Denis Ryan, he explained, had admitted being the driver of the car, in August 2012, from which a gunman had jumped out and shot at members of the Harty family who were parked on the Quays in Askeaton.

Denis, he said was the driver and main person involved in the break-up of the house in Cois Deel last August.

“Members of the public in Rathkeale are very fearful of him and on occasions are afraid of making statements against him because of reprisals.”

Having been told the council had consulted tenants and members of the public on the matter, Judge Angela Ni Chondúin made the exclusion order against Denis Ryan and varied the existing order against Thomas Ryan.