Men charged with Grave disturbance are given suspended sentences

Three men charged in relation to disturbing graves at Rahela Graveyard in Ballyduff in 2003 have received 2 year suspended sentences at Tralee Circuit court this morning. The Court heard that all three have received treatment for alcohol addiction. Judge Carroll Moran said that the incident had attracted considerable publicity and understandably so. The three, Alan Mc Nulty and John Smith with addresses in moreen road in Sandyford in Dublin, and Matthew O Donell with an address in Aughills in Castlemaine, had pleaded guilty to disturbing 3 graves at the graveyard on the night of august 4/5th 2003.They had been charged in relation to disturbing bodies and causing criminal damage. Judge Moran said the offence has triggered a reaction of complete abhorrence by the public and caused huge distress to the families and friends of the deceased involved. He said that the appalling nature of the crimes had to be taken into account. The Court heard that all three had alcohol addiction problems and had been on a drunken spree at the time of the incident. Judge Moran took into account their guilty pleas, the fact that all three had received treatment for their alcohol addiction and had expressed shame at their actions.He imposed 2 year suspended sentences on all three men, suspended on condition that they do not commit any criminal offence during that time and obey all directions of the probation service. They were each bound to the peace for the same 2 year period on their own bonds of 200 euro each.