30 Sept 2022

Man who caused over €20k damage at hotel in Midlands fined €250

Cooney's Hotel

The scene of the damage which was caused to Cooney's Hotel in Ballymahon last year

A man who caused more than €20,000 worth of damage by breaking the front stain glass windows of a hotel in the Midlands has been fined €250 despite only paying just over €1,000 in compensation.

Twenty-two-year-old Sean O’Neill, Darogue, Ballymahon, Longford turned up to a recent court sitting with €1,100 by way of recompensing its owner Michael Cooney, of Cooney’s Hotel and Bar, Main Street, Ballymahon.

Mr O’Neill, stood silently throughout the brief hearing as defence solicitor Bríd Mimnagh revealed how the damage had been covered by insurance.

She said Mr Cooney had previously stated he bore no “ill will” against Mr O’Neill for the incident, describing it as an episode that was very much “out of character”.

The court had previously heard how Mr O’Neill admitted to having consumed a bottle of vodka and five cans down by the river in Ballymahon on the night of the incident.

Judge Marie Keane appeared to allude to Mr O’Neill’s alcohol consumption as he revealed how the accused admitted to probation officers of drinking a bottle of vodka and 15 cans of beer a week.

“Mr Cooney was very adamant about it,” interjected Ms Mimnagh, as she reiterated how the Ballymahon hotel proprietor was keen to bring closure to the fallout.

“It was very unfortunate. They (windows) were very expensive panes of glass.”

Ms Mimnagh said Mr O’Neill came from a family who had a strong work ethic and revealed his mother had been in regular contact with her concerning the charge which was before the court.

Judge Keane fined Mr O’Neill €250, giving him four months to pay and ordered the €1,100 the accused brought to court to be handed over to Mr Cooney as a “gesture”.

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