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Golf club 'bloodbath brawl' was talk of the village

A golf club fight which allegedly left a toilet drenched in blood became "the talk of the village", a court in the Republic of Ireland was told yesterday.

A leading member of Lucan Golf Club in west Dublin, Joe McAuley, yesterday denied that he attended a meeting in a local hotel to "ready up" stories about a clash between two members in the club's gents' toilet.

He also denied that he told golfer Craig McEvoy to "stick to what you were told to say" about a barroom confrontation between the two men at the centre of the case, Martin Curtis and Alan Holmes.

Earlier, Paddy Monaghan, a past captain and president of the club, told Dublin's Circuit Civil Court that in March 2003, weeks after the alleged fight, he overheard Mr McAuley giving instructions to Mr McEvoy in the gents' toilet.

Mr Monaghan told counsel for Mr Curtis that Mr McEvoy asked Mr McAuley: "Where is Holmsie now?" and had been told: "Don't be worrying about him at all. Say what you were told to say and that's it."

Mr Monaghan said the row between Mr Holmes, a paint supplier, of Rathdown Drive, Terenure, Dublin, and Mr Curtis, an aircraft leaser, of Brooklodge, Curryhills, Prosperous, Co Kildare, had been the talk of Lucan village and the club.

He made a note the following day of what he had overheard in the toilet and later gave a copy of it to Mr Curtis.

He felt that Mr Curtis, who had been banned from playing golf for a year and from the clubhouse for three years, had been treated unfairly in comparison to Mr Holmes, who had been suspended for three months.

Mr Holmes, who claims that he was headbutted, and Mr Curtis, who claims that he was punched and kicked, have each sued the other for €38,000 in damages for assault.

The court has been told the two men clashed in the toilet after banter during a televised match between Manchester United and Burnley had got out of hand over a €100 bet which United fan Mr Curtis had offered to Mr Holmes.

Club member Patrick Carroll said he walked into the toilet and saw Mr Holmes and Mr Curtis grappling with each other. At first, he thought this was only horseplay.

He had gone to the urinal and when he turned around, he saw Mr Holmes's head oscillating and there was blood all around the place. Mr Holmes was pumping blood.

Mr Carroll said he had not seen any assault, which must have taken place while his back was turned to the men.

He tried to break them up but could not. Mr Holmes said to him: "I'm not letting him away with that, Paddy. He headbutted me." Mr Curtis said: "I'm getting the police for you."

Judge Joseph Matthews said Mr Holmes' case was that there had been no engagement between the two in the toilet until he had been headbutted.

But, said the judge, Mr Carroll -- who had been called as a witness for Mr Holmes -- had seen the men grappling but there was no sign of blood when he had walked into the toilet.

The case continues today, when Mr Curtis is expected to give evidence.

Source Irish Independent

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