Armed garda presence at Tralee courthouse following appearance of two accused in Traveller feud dispute

There was an armed garda presence outside Tralee courthouse yesterday, following the appearance of two men on charges relating to an ongoing Traveller feud.

Christopher Faulkner of Lower Killeens, Blarney, Co Cork and Wayne McCarthy of Double Cottage, Lower Killeens, pleaded guilty to violent disorder and the possession of weapons at Rathass Cemetery on November 11th, 2014.

The Circuit Criminal Court heard slash-hooks, petrol bombs, hammers, machetes and knives were hidden behind headstones and tombs.

Sgt Tom Burke told the court the incidents happened following the funeral of Bridget O’Driscoll, who was related to both the McCarthy and Faulkner families, between whom there was history dating back over 20 years.

This involved a murder case involving members of both families in August 2004.

Both accused were part of the Faulkner faction, the court was told.

Prosecuting counsel, Tom Rice, said both defendants were involved in the incident out of a misguided sense of family loyalty.

Twenty-one-year-old Christopher Faulkner pleaded guilty to violent disorder and possession of a hammer and slash-hook.

Thirty-two-year-old Wayne McCarthy admitted possessing a slash-hook and violent disorder on the same date.

The court heard James McCarthy was seriously assaulted by three other men in the graveyard that day and that John McCarthy, a member of the Faulkner family, acted with great personal courage and saved his life.

CCTV coverage caught the aftermath of the assault and the accused were among a group of between 20 to 30 men with weapons.

They were caught on camera jumping over the wall of the cemetery after hearing garda sirens.

They made off in a car that was later intercepted by gardaí and the weapons recovered.

Judge Tom O’Donnell adjourned the matter until November and extended the legal aid certificate to include psychiatric reports on both accused.