Man attacked by gang with baseball bats and hammer while locking up at Irish Club in Manchester

Man attacked by gang with baseball bats and hammer while locking up at Irish Club in Manchester

AN IRISHMAN was attacked with a baseball bat and hammer during an armed robbery at an Irish club in Manchester.

Manchester native Brendan Byrne, 39, whose mother comes from Dundalk, Co. Louth, was locking up at St Kentigern’s Irish Social Club in Fallowfield in the south of the city when the robbery occurred.

“He came in to lock up and when he was doing that four men with ski masks came over demanding keys to the safe,” said Kevin Fitzpatrick, manager of St Kents.

The men, armed with a baseball bat and a claw hammer, attacked Mr Byrne as terrified barmaid Bernie Gallagher looked on, on the night of Sunday, January 31.

The pair were approached and threatened outside of the premises and forced to return indoors.

During the assault, Mr Byrne was hit with the bat in the throat while they demanded keys to the safe and kicked to the ground.

Mr Byrne, who is an assistant manager at the club's bar, also suffered a dislocated finger and severe bruising to his hands while defending himself.

“It’s very, very lucky they didn’t manage to hit him on the head,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

“He [Mr Byrne] has been suffering from Crohn’s Disease for the last nine years as it is and that had been flaring up.”

Mr Byrne’s dislocated finger had to be broken and re-set in hospital and after several hours of treatment he was released in the early hours of Monday morning.

While the thieves did not gain access to the safe, they made off with more than £200 from Ms Gallagher’s handbag – her wages which she had collected that night.

Mr Fitzpatrick was alerted to the robbery soon after it occurred by a neighbour who had heard the commotion and arrived just after the police.

The four assailants managed to escape the scene by a back route out of the car park and while Mr Fitzpatrick acknowledges the incident could have been worse, he said his staff are shaken.

“Brendan and Bernie are very shook, all the staff are,” he said.

“We’ve raised over a million pounds for charities over the years and I sometimes have cash belonging to them on site and it was lucky I didn’t this time.

“I bank regularly and I’ll be doing so more regular now because of this robbery.”

Greater Manchester Police have appealed for anyone with information to come forward to lead them in the direction of the perpetrators of the attack.

A GMP spokesman told The Irish Post: "Four men wearing dark clothing and ski masks to hide their identities attempted to rob the bar at the club. The incident was reported to us at 1.35am on Monday and they escaped in an unknown direction."

“There will be a reward for information leading to a conviction,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

“I’ll see to that myself. We need to get this scum taken off the streets.”

Anyone with information can call police on 0161 856 6151 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Updated: Feburary 5 at 4.45pm