A bar man who had worked at a Shannon hotel for well over a decade never returned to his job, after he was assaulted a number of hours after Clare’s 2013 All-Ireland win, Ennis Circuit Court has heard.
In a written victim impact statement, Paul Ryan said he would never do the same type of work again, as he wouldn’t feel safe.
Brothers Mark Hayes (26) and Sean Hayes (25), who both live at 106 Aidan Park, Shannon, pleaded guilty to charges of assault causing harm at the Oakwood Arms in the early hours of September 29, 2013.
Mark Hayes also pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to a bar table.
Garda Colm Moriarty told the court that when he arrived at the hotel on the night in question, he met with Mark Hayes, whom, he said, was not wearing a shirt. He claimed that the defendant had been irate and was “roaring and shouting, alleging he was assaulted”.
When Garda Moriarty went into the bar, he said there were tables and chairs thrown all over the place. He met the victim, Paul Ryan, who he said was in some discomfort. “He was bent over and I could see blood coming out of his head. He was complaining of soreness all over his body.”
Garda Moriarty said Mr Ryan claimed that “the big fella with no top on” had assaulted him.
He also said that when subsequently interviewed, Mark Hayes claimed that he was first assaulted by Paul Ryan, who he said had headbutted him.
Asked if he accepted this version of events, Garda Moriarty said, “Paul Ryan is adamant he was hit first and Mark Hayes is adamant he was hit first.”
He said that the CCTV footage, which was later played for the court, didn’t make it clear how the incident began.
Garda Moriarty also said that Mark Hayes had apologised and said that he wished it had never happened, while his brother said he had wanted to stop the fight.
When the CCTV footage was played in court, it showed an incident developing, as Mr Ryan sought to clear the bar.
The two brothers were shown striking at the victim, while Mark Hayes was the more aggressive of the two, with Sean apparently trying to calm the situation at times.
It also showed Mark Hayes throwing items of furniture and taking off his own top during the course of the dispute.
The court heard that Mark Hayes had 18 previous convictions, including ones for offences, including violent disorder, assault causing harm and threatening behaviour. He had received more than one custodial sentence.
His brother, Sean, had no previous convictions.
A victim impact statement from Mr Ryan, who was 54 at the time of the incident, was read into evidence.
Mr Ryan claimed that, since the attack, he has suffered nightmares and flashbacks and that he is nervous of large crowds and sudden noises.
He left his employment after the incident and stated he would never do the same type of work again, as he wouldn’t feel safe.
Following the assault, he received three staples at the back of his head, urinated blood and had bruises to his face.
Representing Mark Hayes, Mark Nicholas, BL, claimed that the incident had begun after his client received a headbutt and that a witness had heard Mr Ryan say to the Hayes brothers “get out, ye pair of wankers”.
The CCTV footage showed an argument following the assault between the defendants and women who were in the bar room and it was claimed that the defendants were saying that Mr Ryan had started the row.
He said his client regretted what had happened and that he hadn’t wanted to hurt anyone. It was also claimed that Mark Hayes had held “a subjective sense of having been wronged, honestly disproportionately held”.
Representing Sean Hayes, Lorcan Connolly, BL, noted that his client had tried to hold back his brother and had been urging him to go home. He also noted the headbutt claim and the claim that Mr Ryan had referred to the Hayes brothers as a “pair of wankers”.
He said that, on the night, Sean had “foolishly rowed in behind his brother and involved himself in something he should have steered well clear of.” An apology was issued on his behalf.
When it was put to Garda Moriarty that Sean Hayes hadn’t started the row and had tried to calm it down, he said that he agreed with that view.
Mark Hayes was said to have recently completed an entry to education course and is hoping to study ecology.
Sean Hayes was said to be a father of two, is a student at LIT and is also working.
Judge Keys said he wanted to review the CCTV footage and he adjourned the matter until Tuesday of this week. On Tuesday, the case was further adjourned until June 5.