West Limerick feud trial collapses after witnesses refuse to testify

THE TRIAL of five people alleged to have taken part in a “violent” feud between families in Newcastle West and Rathkeale dramatically collapsed this week after a number of witnesses refused to give evidence in court.

THE TRIAL of five people alleged to have taken part in a “violent” feud between families in Newcastle West and Rathkeale dramatically collapsed this week after a number of witnesses refused to give evidence in court.

Brothers Thomas and Dan McCarthy, of 46 Castleview, Newcastle West, had been facing numerous charges of causing criminal damage, while Richard Ryan, of 7 Fairgreen, Fairhill Rathkeale was accused of burglary and causing criminal damage.

Two youths, who cannot be named, faced charges of criminal damage, burglary, possession of a weapon and production of a weapon during the course of a fight.

The case, which centred on alleged violent incidents at addresses in the Castleview and Sharwood estates in Newcastle West and Fairgreen, Rathkeale between May 6 and May 8 this year, was due to be finalised at Newcastle West District Court this Tuesday following instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

However, there were dramatic scenes in court as the five people who had made the original complaints to gardai all withdrew their evidence.

Judge Mary O’Halloran later dismissed the charges due to insufficient evidence.

*A full version of this story was published in the print edition of Limerick Leader, dated October 8, 2011

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