Wednesday 13 November 2019

Thug jailed after woman's hair ripped from scalp in 'frenzied' attack at Take That 3Arena gig

Ciaran Byrne was given a six-month sentence
Ciaran Byrne was given a six-month sentence

A concert-goer has been jailed for his part in a "brutal, frenzied" attack on a woman at a Take That gig which left the victim with a bruised kidney and clumps of her hair torn out.

Ciaran Byrne (33) "joined in" after his sister and his then fiancee started the assault when a row over a spilled drink escalated.

Judge John Hughes gave him a six-month sentence when he admitted his part in the attack during the concert at Dublin's 3Arena.

Byrne, from Dundalk, but now of St Helen's Road, Harrogate, England, pleaded guilty to assault and violent disorder.

Garda Adrian Cahill told Dublin District Court the victim (36) and her husband were at the concert on May 16, 2017 when an argument occurred between them and another group of people, including Byrne.


The victim said the people were highly intoxicated and "overly boisterous" throughout the gig, "to the annoyance of them and many other people".

Byrne's two co-accused, whose cases have been dealt with separately by the courts, initiated the physical confrontation and it "spiralled".

The victim was kicked and punched to the head and body and had large clumps of hair pulled out of her scalp. Her husband found it hard to get to her to help.

It was unclear who threw what punch or kick, but witnesses said the victim was "100pc non-aggressive and was at the receiving end," Gda Cahill said, adding that she was in a state of shock after.

Byrne had previous public order convictions.

Gda Cahill agreed with defence solicitor Michael Hanahoe that the fight started with the two women in Byrne's group while he was in the toilets.

When he returned, it was "in full progress" and he joined in what was a "general melee", Mr Hanahoe said.

The three were escorted out by security and the accused "went quietly" with gardai.

Judge Hughes read from a victim impact statement, noting the woman suffered extensive hair loss and scalp trauma and had to cut her hair short.

She suffered a bruised kidney, blood in her urine, fingernail scratches to her neck and other injuries.

The woman spoke of the "indignity and fear of being dragged and kicked around the 3Arena in front of my husband and friends, not knowing when it would end".

Mr Hanahoe said Byrne "thought he was defending somebody" at the time.

"It was a brutal, vicious, frenzied and sustained assault that took place," Judge Hughes said.

The victim, who had been celebrating her birthday, was left physically and emotionally traumatised.

The judge sentenced the accused to seven months in prison but suspended the final month. He made no compensation order.

Byrne was freed on bail pending an appeal against the severity of his sentence.


Byrne's sister Sharon Byrne has already been given a six-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay €5,000 compensation after pleading guilty.

The court heard that case is under appeal.

His then fiancee Gemma Finnegan, from whom Byrne has since separated, has also pleaded guilty and her case has yet to be finalised by the court.

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