Seventeen men have now appeared before the district court in the midlands charged with behaving in a threatening, abusive and insulting manner on videos which were uploaded onto YouTube.

At Longford District Court this morning, Judge Seamus Hughes dealt with the cases of six men all from the Athlone and Longford area. A recording of the behaviour was uploaded onto You Tube and therefore was likely to cause a breach of the peace on dates during October and November last year.

Dealing with one of the cases, Judge Hughes said it was a novel charge as normally with a public order offence only those who were at the scene would witness what is alleged to have taken place. However, in these circumstances he said it would appear the whole world has seen it on You Tube and can watch it seven nights a week.

11 other men have already appeared before the district court charged with similar offences which are allegedly linked to today’s charges.

Dealing with applications for free legal aid on behalf of some of the defendants, Judge Hughes questioned several men on what types of cars they owned and how they paid for their car insurance.

At a previous court sitting dealing with the other 11 defendants, Judge Hughes said it was his understanding that "people who bare knuckle fight, pass large sums of money", so he requested that the State carry out "a thorough investigation into the financial affairs" of the defendants.

The six men charged before the court this morning are due to appear before Longford District Court again on 14 February.

The 11 defendants who appeared previously are due back in court on 7 February.

An application for disclosure of evidence was made in court this morning and the gardaí handed over copies of DVDs to legal representatives for some of the accused.