The scene of an altercation in Mullingar on St Patrick's Day last year was described in court as one of mayhem.
14 men face a charge of violent disorder after the incident at a pub on Dominick Street on 17 March 2014.
Garda Inspector Jarlath Folan told Mullingar District Court that gardaí were called to the pub where members of two Traveller families were involved in an altercation.
He said 18 gardaí, including members of specialist units, attended the incident.
One Garda was injured during the operation.
Judge Seamus Hughes said while accepting the decision to proceed to trial was the prerogative of the Director of Public Prosecution, he was surprised that the DPP had opted for trial on indictment without giving the option of signed pleas.
Judge Hughes said: "This is going to cost the taxpayers of this country" and estimated the cost to the State could be in the region of €200,000.
He also expressed concern about the extra pressure the case could potentially put on the court.
Judge Hughes said he was making the comments "without any criticism" of the DPP but in order for the DPP to "reflect" on the issue.
Each of the defendants was granted cash bail of €500 with strict conditions.
All 14 defendants were remanded on bail to reappear at Mullingar District Court on 10 March for service of the book of evidence.
The defendants are: John Joe Nevin, 31, Abbeylands, John Nevin, 46, Columb Drive, Daniel Nevin, 27, St Michael's Halting Site; John Nevin, 32, St Michael's Park, David Nevin, 24, Ardleigh Vale, and John Nevin, 31, Grange Crescent, all in Mullingar.
Mike Nevin, 18, Kilsallagh, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford and Hugh Nevin, 29, Ashfield, Mullingar.
John Joyce, 41, Joe Joyce, 25, and David Joyce, 28, all with addresses at Ard Grainne, Moate, Co Westmeath; David Joyce, 35, of Hazelwood, Coosan, Athlone; David Joyce, 36, and John Joe Joyce, 27, both of Farnagh, Moate.