By: ELOISE WALTON
ELEVEN MEMBERS of a Dublin hurling team were detained by GNR officers in Monte Gordo in the early hours of Friday morning (February 29) after allegedly being set upon by a group of local Portuguese men.
Members from the senior Ballyboden Hurling team were allegedly confronted and attacked by a group of 30 Portuguese men after entering the Golden Rose Pub in the early hours of Friday morning.
Members of the team, who came on a training camp at the Vila Real de Santo António municipal sports complex, were arrested when Vila Real GNR arrived on the scene, after material damage was caused to the establishment.
The following day, the detainees were presented to a magistrate and asked to provide proof of identity and residence before being cautioned and released.
A spokesman for the municipal stadium told The Resident: “The team came to train at the stadium, arriving on Thursday and leaving on Monday. I heard rumours that there had been some disturbance in a bar.”
Liam Hogan, the team’s manager told The Resident: “Seven of our players were injured, one of them was transported to a Lisbon hospital after suffering a fractured skull and blood clot, and could not fly home with the rest of the team,” adding: “This player was due to see a neurosurgeon in Lisbon last night (Tuesday) and we are now waiting for news about his condition.”
Liam Hogan also said that other injuries suffered by members of his team included one man being glassed in the face and back of the head, four players who received stitches to their heads and one who suffered a fractured finger.
“The players were seen by a female judge on Saturday morning, who worked through the night until 6.30am to hear the case,” said the team’s manager, adding: “I think the judge deserves credit for staying up through the night to make sure these people were heard in a fair hearing.”
As for the material damage allegedly caused inside the Golden Rose Pub and to a car parked outside, Liam Hogan said that it was not caused by his players.
“These are not lager louts, they are engineers and computer analysts as well as being some of our country’s best sportsmen who have never been in any kind of trouble,” he said. “The GNR said they knew this group so I am expecting some arrests to be made and we will come to Portugal to go to court and fight this case tooth and nail.”
A GNR spokesman told The Resident: “Only 11 Irish citizens were arrested because they were the only ones in the bar when the GNR arrived at the scene. An investigation will have to be ordered by the public prosecutor to determine who else was involved.” The Resident also tried to contact the Golden Rose Pub, but the telephone number was no longer operational.
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