Seven men fined for their role in Gweedore melee

A Judge has described the ordeal of four gardai being set upon by a 40-strong crowd in west Donegal as a terrifying situation.
One of the gardai, Kenneth Gallagher, was blinded in the melee when he tried to use a pepper-spray to free himself from a headlock – he was also being kicked and punched.
Seven men were before the court in relation to the disturbance.
A special sitting of Dungloe District Court heard how plastic bottles and chips from a local takeaway were thrown Garda Gallagher and Garda Rory Harrison at 3.15 a.m opposite the Dodge nightclub in Gweedore.
As the crowd set upon them while they attempted to make an arrest and place a person in their Garda patrol van another Garda vehicle arrived with the assistance of Garda Ronan McNamara and Garda Declan McCann.
Seven men aged between 19 and 24 admitted a number of public disorder offences.
Garda Gallagher, who suffered most from the crowd, said as he arrested one man another grabbed him from behind in a headlock. He was kicked and held and punched.
He had a pepper-spray which he never used before and as he was trying to get his thumb on the trigger he was grabbed from behind and he shot myself in the eye and was blinded. He partly recovered his sight when he threw water on his eyes but they still stung.
Judge Paul Kelly said it was the worst public order situation he had ever dealt with.
Following strong defence submissions he ordered all seven to make donations ranging from €1,000 to €500 to two charities, Sheephaven Subaqua Club and a Foroige youth project in Falcarragh, and bound them to the peace for 12 months.
Cathal Breslin, 24, of Magheraclogher, was ordered to donate €1,000 for obstructing a peace officer, threatening behaviour and being drunk.
Michael Curran, 23, of Middle Dore, Bunbeg, was ordered to donate €1,000 for obstructing a peace officer, failure to obey a Garda direction, and threatening behaviour.
Stephen Kissane, 21, of Meenaniller, Derrybeg, was ordered to donate €700 for obstructing a peace officer.
Shaun Curran, 19, who is Michael’s brother, Patrick Harley, 20, of Middle Dore, Cathal Friel, 20, of Lunniaghbeg, Derrybeg, amnd Michael McBride, 23, of Stranacorkra, Derrybeg, were each ordered to donate €500 for threatening behaviour.
After the hearing gardai said they wished to pass on their thanks to Dodge staff who assisted them.


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