Brothers beat sibling who fled arranged marriage
FOUR brothers savagely beat up their younger brother in the back of a car after he refused to take part in an arranged marriage.
A court has heard that Johnny McDonagh -- who was 17 at the time -- left his Co Donegal home and fled to Kilkenny after his family had arranged a marriage for him.
However, four of his brothers -- Martin, Thomas, Michael and Terence -- followed him and brought him back to Donegal.
Outlining the evidence, prosecuting counsel Patricia McLaughlin told Letterkenny Circuit Court that Johnny had left the family home "over an arrangement to marry a certain person" that he was not happy about.
The court heard that, on the journey home, Johnny was attacked and hurt by two of the brothers in the back of the car.
During another part of the journey, the brothers swapped around and two other brothers also beat up their victim.
The victim alerted gardai after he managed to use a mobile phone while locked in a caravan. The four brothers, all with an address at the The Big Isle, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, were charged with assaulting Johnny on December 4, 2009.
All four men entered a late guilty plea to the charges of assault.
The court was told how all the accused had previous convictions for various offences, including assault, theft and public order offences.
However, Judge John O'Hagan was reassured that "peace had now broken out" among the siblings. Paul Kelly, counsel for Martin McDonagh, said his client's view was that the incident had nothing to do with a marriage and was due to concern about his brother taking illicit substances.
Judge O'Hagan said the legal system was there to protect everyone.
"You can't, as a community of people, take the law into your own hands," he said.
He sentenced all four to three months in prison.
However, he suspended the sentences for six months and also ordered each to pay €500 to charity.