THREE YOUNG men who caused a late night drunken disturbance in a housing estate must each undertake 50 hours of charitable work to avoid going to prison.
Cian Flannery (20) Ashleigh Rise, Swords; Sean Quinn (21), Moat Lane, Brackenstown, Swords and Philip Higgins (20), Larkspur, Carrick Hill Road, Portmarnock previously pleaded guilty to using threatening and abusive language and behaviour at Carrick Hill Road Upper, Portmarnock at 3am on Thursday, July 5. Additional charges of causing €1,700 criminal damage to a car during the same incident were struck out against the three men as they each paid €565 compensation for the damage caused. The three man were again before Swords District Court last week where they each made a €500 charitable donation. Proof that the money had been raised by the defendants themselves and not their parents, as had been demanded by Judge Dermot Dempsey, was handed into the court. Judge Dempsey ordered that the total charitable donation of €1,500 is to be given to the Swords conference of St Vincent de Paul. Caitriona Sharkey, solicitor for Cian Flannery, said that her client, who is in his third year of a degree course, is 'absolutely ashamed' of his behaviour. Ms Sharkey, who also represented Philip Higgins, said that her client was 'extremely apologetic' and has learned his lesson. She said that Higgins, who is a trainee chef in the family business, made a 'stupid mistake'. He had drunk too much on the night and his memory of the event was hazy. ' The residents where they created these ructions are not as hazy in their memories,' stated Judge Dermot Dempsey. ' This is not a one off, around the country it is an ongoing problem. 'Maybe it is time for the message to be sent out to these first and third year students that you cannot go through estates at 3am waking people up and causing damage and drinking shots to oblivion.' The Judge added that maybe people would not be inclined to carry on with this behaviour if they spent ' time inside'. Paddy Jackson, counsel for Sean Quinn, pleaded with Judge Dempsey that it would be ' disproportionate to tar' the men with convictions for life as they had never been in trouble before and had paid compensation. Solicitor Caitriona Sharkey added that all three men had come to court and ' held their hands up' and that for young men the amount of money paid in compensation was substantial. Judge Dempsey responded that it was not substantial amount given the damage and disruption that they caused on the night. Remanding all three men on continuing bail to Swords Court on January 28, 2013, Judge Dempsey stated that he would take 'a certain course' if they each undertake 50 hours of charitable work. 'You can do something worthwhile over Christmas,' stated Judge Dempsey. 'I do not want any excuses. I want 50 hours of charitable work and I want proof that it is done. If I do not have proof, they will face a custodial sentence.'