Wednesday 19 December 2018

Some 80 teenagers showed up to fight organised on social media - court hears

The officer was taken to University College Hospital to be treated for non-life threatening lacerations
The officer was taken to University College Hospital to be treated for non-life threatening lacerations Newsdesk Newsdesk

A group of 80 teenagers turned up to a disused house to "egg on" a fight that was organised on social media between two youths, a court heard.

Michael Sweeney (19) with an address at Old Bundoran Road, Rathbraughan, was charged this week with affray at Sligo Circuit Court.

State Prosecutor Ms Dara Foynes BL said two others are also charged in relation to the matter, the Sligo Champion reports.

She said on the day, on September 28 2013, a large group of boys and girls were socialising at Ardaghowen House, Rathquarter which is disused.

They were all well under 18 years of age and a number were drinking.

A fight was arranged between Sweeney and Mr Owen Dunne Foye and a large crowd of people were watching it.

People were filming it on their phones and footage of the fight was shown in court.

Sergeant Terence McMahon explained to the court that the last of the incident occurred down a laneway which was not captured.

It was alleged that Mr Foye was assaulted by a number of people.

It was also alleged Mr Foye was struck with an instrument by an unknown person.

Ms Foynes told the court an unfortunate medical situation developed some months later where Mr Foye suffered an epileptic fit but she said it was the prosecution's case that they could not say it was attributed to the fight.

A number of witness statements were taken following the incident.

Defence barrister Mr Leo Mulrooney instructed by Mr Mark Mullaney said his client was 15 years old at the time of the incident.

He said he apologised to the victim three months after and he accepted the apology and there hasn't been any issues between them since.

Sweeney was no longer involved with the other people involved in the incident, his barrister added.

He said Sweeney has since used his time well in education and training and a probation report indicated he was at low risk of reoffending.

Judge Keenan Johnson said the incident involving 80 young people intoxicated on a Saturday afternoon was a reflection on the way society has gone.

He said all the people there egging on the fight were equally culpable but were not before the courts.

The judge said Sweeney's Probation Report showed him to be reformed and he was not in trouble since.

He took into account that he was making efforts at building up qualifications and said it was not in society's interest to imprison him.

He sentenced him to one year in jail, suspended for three years, adding he will expunge his record after three years if such a plea is made before him.

Sligo Champion

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