Man (22) appears in court over attack at Cork filling station

Assault is part of an escalating feud between rival Traveller families in the city

Paddy Stokes of St Anthony’s Park, Hollyhill, Cork was brought before a special sitting of Cork District Court on Friday afternoon, arising out of an incident where a man was attacked at Blarney Filling Station on April 16th.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Paddy Stokes of St Anthony’s Park, Hollyhill, Cork was brought before a special sitting of Cork District Court on Friday afternoon, arising out of an incident where a man was attacked at Blarney Filling Station on April 16th. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

A 22-year-old man has appeared in court charged in relation to an incident when another young man was attacked at a filling station in Cork as part of an escalating feud between rival Traveller families in the city.

Paddy Stokes of St Anthony’s Park, Hollyhill, Cork was brought before a special sitting of Cork District Court on Friday afternoon, arising out of an incident where a man was attacked at Blarney Filling Station on April 16th.

Mr Stokes was charged with engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour in Blarney on April 16th in a manner likely to lead to a breach of the peace, contrary to Section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994.

And he was also charged with obstructing a member of An Garda Síochána in the execution of his duty at St Anthony’s Park, Hollyhill, Cork on April 17th contrary to Section 19 of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994.

Det Garda Maurice Leahy of Blarney Garda Station gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution and told the court that Mr Stokes made no reply to either charge when they were put to him after caution.

Det Garda Leahy said that Mr Stokes’s arrest related to a garda investigation of an ongoing feud between members of the Stokes family on the one side and members of the rival McCarthy and Faulkner families on the other side.

Gardaí did not object to bail for Mr Stokes once he gave an undertaking to abide by strict conditions including that he remain off social media and have no contact with either of the opposing families, the McCarthy or the Falconers.

Gardaí also sought that Mr Stokes comply with the 2km Covid-19 restrictions and that he would present each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Gurranabraher Garda Station, without being required to sign at the station.

No social media

Defence solicitor, Joe Cuddigan asked if his client could use Facebook to contact his grandmother in Mallow but Judge Olann Kelleher said he had to stay off social media and he could be remanded in custody if he did not agree.

Mr Stokes could instead use his phone to contact his grandmother in Mallow, said Judge Kelleher before remanding Mr Stokes on bail to appear again at Cork District Court on April 27th.

Earlier this week, two other men caught up in the feud between the Stokes and the McCarthy/Faulkner faction were remanded in continuing custody by Judge Kelleher when they appeared by video link at Cork District Court.

James McCarthy (33) of the Halting Site, Spring Lane, Cork, and of Liffey Park, Mayfield, Cork was alleged to have uploaded a video on his Facebook page, making a threat directed at Michael Stokes.

Det Garda John Gleeson told the court that the state would allege that Mr McCarthy said on the video: “I will get you. I will cut you from head to toe. I will cut you in pieces. I will cut you in bits.”

Det Garda Pat Barry said the state would allege that Michael Stokes (24), with an address at St. Anthony’s Park, Knocknaheeny, Cork, had posted videos on his Facebook page specifically targeting James McCarthy.

He said the state would allege that Michael Stokes said on the video: “Ye got bate seven days a week and you’ll get bate seven days again. Next time I see you, you are going underground.”

Cross-examined by Mr McCarthy’s solicitor, Thomas Coughlan, Det Garda Gleeson agreed that only the shoes of the person making the threats was visible on the video which had been posted on line.

However, Det Gleeson said he clearly recognised the voice as that of James McCarthy and he said the shoes were very distinctive and the defendant was wearing a pair of the same shoes when arrested.

Det Garda Barry said the Stokes video was made in a blue BMW and that Michael Stokes drives a blue BMW and said he was 100per cent sure the voice was that of Michael Stokes.

Escalation

Cross-examined by Mr Stokes’s solicitor, Frank Buttimer, Det Garda Barry said that the man in the video making the threats was wearing a Rolex watch on his wrist and that Mr Stokes had a Rolex.

Det Garda Barry told the court that there was an escalating feud between the families that had in recent weeks seen a pipe bomb thrown at a house and a gunshot fired at a house.

Det Garda Barry said there were fears for the safety of those being threatened in the feud which had escalated since January when it was alleged a member of the McCarthy family was assaulted outside the cinema in Blackpool.

Both Mr McCarthy and Mr Stokes applied for bail through their solicitors but Judge Olann Kelleher refused bail and remanded both men in custody until April 15th when he further remanded them to appear again on April 29th.