Four young people charged with public order offences in Killarney escape custodial sentences

Four young people who pleaded guilty to 24 charges including attacking Gardaí have all escaped prison sentences.

Instead, the three men, and one woman have received the benefit of the Probation Act, following the incident in Killarney in 2015.

On the 1st of December, Gardaí received a number of calls from the public, complaining of a loud group of people drinking alcohol and setting off fireworks in the Ballyspillane housing estate in Killarney.

The crowd dispersed temporarily following a warning from Gardaí, who returned twice more when they received further complaints of disruptive behaviour.

Tralee Circuit Court heard on their third visit the scene facing Gardaí was tense volatile and fractious, where they felt they had to draw their batons to defend themselves.

At this point, Mark O’Callaghan of Knocklee Camp punched a Garda who tried to arrest him.

His three friends 20-year-old Neil O’Mahony of 178 Ballyspillane, 22-year-old Stephanie McCarthy and her 19-year-old brother Denis of 180 Ballyspillane, were also arrested.

All four were charged with offences including being drunk, obstructing the peace, and threatening and insulting behaviour.

Judge Thomas O’Donnell described the behaviour of the four on the night as disgraceful, and said it was unacceptable they breached curfews imposed by the courts as they awaited sentencing.

Nevertheless, he said he would follow the recommendations of their probation reports, and place Mark O’Callaghan and Neil O’Mahony on 12 months’ probation and Stephanie and Denis McCarthy on six months’ probation.

But he warned all four that if there was any slippage from any of them, they would be returned to court.