Updated: 25/08/17 : 05:17:50
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Sligo samurai sword attacker refused bail

A Sligo man has been charged in connection with the stabbing of his brother-in-law and wife at a family function.

Father-of-five Michael Sweeney (40) appeared yesterday at Letterkenny District Court following a serious attack at Crozen Park, Sligo on Saturday evening last.

Martin and Margaret Sweeney were both stabbed at the party.

The two men are members of the Traveller community and the incident is believed to be related to an ongoing feud.

The accused, of Old Bundoran Road, was also rushed to hospital after he received a punctured lung.

The victim Martin Sweeney suffered multiple stab wounds to his neck, back and arm. He underwent emergency surgery at the hospital where his condition although still critical, has improved.

The female victim Margaret Sweeney (40), described by gardaí as an “innocent victim”, received a number of stitches at the hospital, and was later discharged.

Samurai

The court was told that Martin Sweeney is the brother in law of the accused and they had gathered to celebrate the news of a pregnancy in the family.

The accused, who was found by gardai two doors down from the scene of the original attack, said: “I was scared because I had been stabbed with a samurai (sword). I was trying to hide.”

Gardai objected to bail for the accused who was charged under Section 3 of the Non-Fatal Against the Persons Act.

The court heard armed gardaí were later called to Sligo University Hospital after the three individuals were brought there. Judge Deirdre Gearty refused bail, saying she felt there was a real risk he would interfere with witnesses.

They said they feared Sweeney would interfere and intimidate witnesses in the case and they also feared the accused could be under threat.

However, solicitor Rory O’Brien said his client has a family with a wife and five children who was willing to comply with any bail conditions.

Judge Deirdre Gearty refused bail saying she felt there was a real risk he would interfere with witnesses in the case.

She adjourned the case to Harristown District Court to next Friday, September 1.

Meanwhile  armed gardaí are retaining a presence at the hospital due to the large influx of Travellers gathered there awaiting news of injured family members.