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27 Sept 2022

Young 'professional people' in court after row at Offaly restaurant

Tullamore courthouse

Four young people appeared at Tullamore District Court

A ROW at a restaurant in Birr resulted in two men and two women being prosecuted at Tullamore District Court.

The court heard that complaints had been made to the gardai and then withdrawn but the DPP decided that the prosecutions should proceed.

Donal Farrelly, the solicitor who appeared for three of the accused, said all the parties were now on good terms and suggested that if there were pleas of guilty to charges of affray, then the DPP might withdraw assault charges.

Tim Cox (23), Middle Road, Banagher had been charged with violent disorder and assaulting Mary Scully, causing her harm at the Jade Palace, Townsend Street, Birr.

Ronan Hynes (24), Glebe, Belmont, Birr, Brid Ryan (23), Elm Hall, Carrig, Birr and Mary Scully (22), Rhode, were each accused of violent disorder and assaulting Tim Cox, causing him harm.

Mr Farrelly described all the defendants as “professional people” from extremely good backgrounds and the gardai had confirmed they had not been in trouble before.

He said Garda Melissa Kelly had done an extremely good job in the investigation and despite the complaints being withdrawn by all of the parties the DPP seemed anxious to proceed.

Mr Farrelly also said that a payment had been made in relation to an injury sustained by one of the accused people.

They were all extremely worried about the matter and also wished to travel abroad in the future.

Sergeant James O'Sullivan detailed to Judge Andrew Cody that on August 28 last year at 11.50pm an altercation occurred at the Jade Palace Chinese restaurant where Mr Cox pulled Mary Scully's hair and then the other male got involved.

Mary Scully was struck twice in the face, added Sergeant O'Sullivan, and Mr Cox had an injury.

Mr Farrelly said Mr Cox had been compensated to avoid a civil matter arising.

The solicitor also said that one of his clients was a nurse and another was a childcare worker so convictions would affect them.

Judge Cody said the court was busy and if these prosecutions were adjourned to a hearing date early next year a charitable donation, followed by a strike-out, would be the outcome.

He said a charitable donation now would be the “commonsense approach”, after a plea by each of the accused to the charge of affray and that would lead to the charges being struck out.

The judge suggested a donation of €300 from each of the accused be made to the Little Blue Heroes charity.

He adjourned finalisation of the matters to October 19 next for those payments.

The Little Blue Heroes Foundation is a not-for-profit charity operated by volunteers made up of Garda members/staff, retired gardai, their families, friends and what the charity says are “civic minded people from communities”.

The charity aims to help families in need from local communities in Ireland who have children undergoing long-term medical treatment for serious illness. The charity says the name Little Blue Heroes was inspired by children's strong fascination with police uniforms, equipment and vehicles.

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