ALCOHOL-FUELLED incidents after a birthday party at a pub in Shannon were reminiscent of scenes from the Wild West, according to a judge, who imposed fines totalling more than €2,500 and jailed one of those involved.
Arising out of the early morning incident, six people, originally from Limerick — including two women and a teenage boy — faced several charges. Between them, they pleaded guilty to 14 charges, on September 21, 2008. Several other charges were withdrawn by the State.
In handing down the sentences, Judge Leo Malone said, “It’s lucky the incident ended as it did without serious harm or injury to those peo- ple or the gardai. It could have had very serious consequences.”
Noel O’Callaghan (48), of Fergus
Road, Shannon, admitted a charge of criminal damage and public order; Stephen Kelly (27), of Slaney Park, Shannon, admitted obstructing a garda and public order; and
Martin O’Callaghan (20), of Fergus Road, Shannon, admitted producing a shovel in a threatening manner and public order.
Lesley O’Callaghan (21), of Fergus Road, Shannon, admitted obstruct- ing a garda and public order;
Melita Galvin (18), of Shanabooley Road, Ballynanty, Limerick, admit- ted obstructing a garda and public order; while a 17-year-old youth, who cannot be named because of his age, admitted obstructing a garda and public order.
Sergeant Kevin O’Hagan told En- nis District Court that there was unruly behaviour outside the Cross- roads pub in Drumgeely. One of the accused, Stephen Kelly, was verbally
abusive to gardai at the scene and resisted arrest. A short time later, as he walked out the front door of his house, Kelly again shouted at gardai. He was arrested and while he did not resist arrest on this occasion, a number of others interfered. The ju- venile jumped on top of the gardai and swung out of them. The juvenile was then arrested and he became aggressive to gardai. Melita Galvin also swung out of a garda, while he was trying to put Stephen Kelly into a patrol car. Several gardai arrived on the scene and the incident eventu- ally calmed down.
A short time later, Noel O’Callaghan began to shout and showed gardai blood on his hands, having smashed six glasses in the pub earlier. As he was being arrested, a number of others pulled at gardai. One of the accused, Martin O’Callaghan, ap- peared from his house with a long-
handed shovel in his hand. “He was swinging the shovel over his head, shouting to gardai “Come and get me’. He was stripped to the waist,’ said the garda. He said that Lesley O’Callaghan managed to calm him down.
While the incident was diffused within 20 minutes, “gardai main- tained a presence in the area all the night, in case there was a recurrence. It was totally alcohol-fuelled. Some incident happened in the premises. When people were arrested it seemed to escalate more,’ said Sgt O’ Hagan.
Judge Leo Malone said it sounded like “The Wild West.’
The judge said that Noel O’Callaghan was “old enough to have sense.” Defending solicitor John Herbert accepted this, but said he had remained away from the greater part of the fray. He was fined €300. Re- ferring to Martin O’Callaghan, Mr
Herbert said that while he produced a Shovel, he did not make contact with gardai. “There wasn’t any great intent other than bravado,” he said. However, Judge Malone remarked, ‘A shovel could kill you.” Mr Her- bert said, ““While his ire was directed at gardai, he did not leave the gen- eral curtilage of the house.” A three- month jail term and fine of €250 was imposed. “The reason for the sen- tence is I look very seriously on fire- arms offences,” said the judge. Melita Galvin was fined €600. Fines total- ling €800 were imposed on Stephen Kelly, while Lesley O’Callaghan was fined €500.
Mr Herbert said that the juvenile “has been targeted by criminals to do certain things for them because he does not have the wherewithal to make proper decisions.” He was fined €200. The total amount of the fines imposed was €2,650.