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€2k trail of damage by drunk students in holiday rampage

A UCD student and a group of his friends caused thousands of euro worth of damage to holiday homes in a drunken rampage at a seaside resort.

Alex O'Connor (20) and other students were staying in one of the holiday homes at Brittas Bay when they caused the damage after having "far too much to drink".

Judge Murrough Connellan adjourned the case and told O'Connor to bring a €500 charity donation to court.

The judge made the order after hearing compensation had already been paid.

O'Connor, of Sandycove East, admitted five counts of criminal damage at Brittas Bay in an incident on April 5, 2009.

Wicklow District Court heard the accused was one of seven men staying in a holiday home at the site.

During the night, several of the homes were damaged and the following morning, gardai took statements from the victims and spoke to the accused.

He was one of three who admitted causing more than €2,000 worth of damage.

Compensation was paid to the owners and the accused had apologised.

O'Connor's lawyer said one of the youths responsible for the damage had received a warning through the juvenile liaison programme.



HONOURS

The other co-accused had pleaded guilty on a previous court date and the judge had asked him to bring €500 to court as a charity donation.

O'Connor was an "honours student" in UCD and was "thoroughly ashamed of what had happened", when he woke up the next day, his lawyer said.

He had fully co-operated with the garda investigation and paid compensation for all the damage he caused.

"In relation to some of the damage that was caused, they had to make enquiries to find out who owned the property," the defence lawyer said.

O'Connor was aged 19 at the time of the incident.

"These were students who had far too much to drink and didn't mean to cause harm," his lawyer said.

He added that his client had not even asked to see the prosecution's statements before entering a guilty plea.

He had no previous convictions and his mother was in court with him.

The lawyer asked Judge Connellan to deal with O'Connor in the same way that he had dealt with his co-accused.

Judge Connellan adjourned both cases to April 13.

aphelan@herald.ie


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