Two men charged with violent disorder and assault following the death of a man in Athlone

TWO men have been charged with violent disorder and assault after a man was seriously injured in an alleged “unprovoked attack” in Athlone, Co Westmeath.

Aul Connolly, 48, from Edenderry, Co. Offaly, had been in town on a bachelorette party in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Gardaí arrested two local men on August 13, charging them with the assault which harmed Mr Connolly and violent disorder in Church Street, Athlone.

Unemployed Sean Munnelly, 35, of Irishtown, Athlone, and hardware store clerk David Higgins, 18, of St Paul’s Terrace, Athlone, appeared before Judge Alan Mitchell in a late special session of Mullingar Circuit Court on Sunday night.

Mr Munnelly did not seek bail, while his co-defendant was ordered to bail at €5,000 but has yet to claim it. The pair were remanded in custody to appear before the same court via video link on Thursday.

Detective Sergeant Kevin Craig told Judge Mitchell they had not responded to the charges, alleging the deceased was injured in an “unprovoked assault.” The court heard he was beaten unconscious and later died.

He refused bail from Mr Higgins because of the seriousness of the incident. He told Judge Mitchell that Mr Connolly suffered “punches and kicks” during the alleged assault, which was caught on CCTV.

However, he agreed with defense attorney Michael Cooney that Mr Higgins was not considered a risk of absconding and that he lived with his grandfather in Athlone and had no criminal record.

After further questioning, the Detective Sergeant agreed that it was alleged that the incident had two phases, minutes apart, and in the second phase Mr Connolly was knocked unconscious.

He accepted that it had been alleged that Mr Higgins was involved in the earlier part of the incident and that he was unknown to the co-defendants.

Judge Mitchell didn’t think the threshold was reached to deny the 18-year-old’s bail, but he had to take note of the seriousness of the incident.

He set bail at €2,500 for Mr Higgins’ bail, which must be posted in full, and he authorized his grandfather to act as an independent guarantor. He must deposit another €2,500.

Judge Mitchell warned the young man to meet “strict” conditions: report to his local Garda station daily, obey a 10pm to 6am curfew, avoid contact with witnesses, surrender his passport and travel documents and do not apply for new ones, live at his current address and remain reachable by cell phone.

Legal aid was granted to the couple who did not go to court. Two men charged with violent disorder and assault following the death of a man in Athlone

Fry Electronics Team

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