herald

Sunday 25 August 2019

Eight involved in New Year's hotel brawl have now been identified

McGettigan’s bar at the Royal Hotel in Bray, Co Wicklow, was badly damaged during the melee on New Year’s Day. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photo Agency
McGettigan’s bar at the Royal Hotel in Bray, Co Wicklow, was badly damaged during the melee on New Year’s Day. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photo Agency

Gardai have identified eight people involved in a fight in a hotel bar on New Year's Day.

The men were all caught on the hotel's CCTV system.

Senior sources said officers hoped to identify at least eight more people involved in the brawl.

At least 20 people were involved in the fight, which broke out at McGettigan's bar in the respected Royal Hotel on Main Street, Bray, Co Wicklow, at about 1am.

Injuries

A 45-year-old hotel security guard had to be taken to hospital with severe head injuries after he was hit over the head with a blunt object.

"A full investigation into this violent incident is very much ongoing and great progress is being made," said a senior source last night.

"Eight suspects have now been identified from CCTV footage.

"It is expected that many more will be identified in the coming weeks. Arrests will then follow."

Major damage was caused to the bar as the violence flared out of control.

"The place was completely smashed up," a senior source told the Herald.

"Massive damage was caused to the bar area.

"Tables and chairs were trashed and the place was full of broken bottles. There was glass everywhere.

"It is a miracle that just one person was seriously injured in this massive affray. Dozens of people could so very easily have been hurt."

The Herald can disclose that gardai believe the main protagonists were Traveller criminals who live in Shankill in South Dublin and Bray.

Such was the seriousness of the situation that up to half a dozen garda units rushed to the hotel.

Arrest

Officers made only one arrest on the night - a man in his 30s was arrested for public order offences.

However, the savage melee is now being officially investigated as a "violent disorder incident" and gardai have obtained good quality CCTV footage of the fight.

"Bad and all as this was, it could have been a lot worse," said gardai. "A lot of people could have been very seriously hurt.

"There were more than 20 people effectively beating each other up and smashing the place up."

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