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Drug thug pushed tourist off pier edge

A MAN is awaiting sentencing for pushing a British tourist into the sea at the Tall Ships Festival in Dublin.

Colin Ryder had been filming the Tall Ships at Howth when the incident happened.

He was lured to the pier's edge and shoved into the water, a court heard.

Mr Ryder was submerged and sank under a boat, until some youths who had been swimming threw a rope and pulled him to safety.

Thomas Reilly (27) had pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm and criminal damage at Howth harbour on August 26, 2011.

The father-of-two, of Enaville Road, North Strand, was unanimously convicted by a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal court in January. It was the second time the case had gone to trial, after a jury failed to agree a verdict last May.

Reilly has 68 previous convictions including assault causing harm, criminal damage and drugs and firearms offences.

He also served time for endangerment after trying to run over some gardai.

Gda Marie Geraghty told Cormac Quinn BL, prosecuting, that Mr Ryder was filming the ships when a man asked him to take some footage of him, and lured him close to the edge of the West Pier. Reilly then shoved him into the water.

The court heard that Mr Ryder bruised his hand and was shocked. His camcorder and mobile phone were damaged, but he managed to take a photo of Reilly after the incident.

In a victim impact report, Mr Ryder said he remained nervous in large crowds.

Jim McCullough BL, defending, said his client claimed he was not responsible for the incident but has since accepted the verdict of the jury.

He said Reilly has drug and alcohol problems and has been in and out of prison since he was 16.


The defence added that Reilly has been in custody on this and other matters for the past 18 months and has had "time to reflect".

"He's no longer a little kid getting into trouble. He understands his life is at a crossroads and he is determined to take a different path," said Mr McCullough.

The court heard that Fr Peter McVerry has offered Reilly a route to rehabilitation through a 20-week residential course.

Judge Patricia Ryan remanded Reilly in continuing custody for sentencing on May 2. She ordered a probation report.