Jail for man who assaulted customer and licensee of Ballina pub

A 39-year-old man who threw a patron of a pub across tables and threw a pint glass in the direction of the owner of the pub was before Ballina District Court this week.

At 2.45pm on November 2 2012 gardaí received a call from Ann Ward the licensee of Peacocks Bar, O’Rahilly Street, Ballina that Joe Sweeney, 40 Castlefield Manor, Ballina had entered the premises, from which he was barred, and ordered a drink. Ann Ward refused to serve him and Sweeney became aggressive. Sweeney turned to other customers in the bar and asked Ms Ward “why she was serving those c***s?” Sweeney threw a bar stool on the ground and when Ms Ward went to pick it up he made an attempt to strike her. A customer, Damien McGrath came to her aid and Sweeney pushed Ms Ward out of the way. The defendant swung at Mr McGrath and threw him across two tables—glasses which were on the tables smashed in the process. Sweeney then pulled McGrath’s jumper up over his head.

The defendant picked up items which were on the bar—which included a pint glass, a can of Bulmers and money boxes which he threw in the director of Mr McGrath and Ms Ward. They did not hit either, however one item hit a picture on the wall. Some €120 worth of damage was caused in the pub.

Sweeney left but then returned to get his jacket. He said to Ms Ward and Mr McGrath that he would kill them and commented that the pub had better be insured.

Gardaí arrived at the scene and Sweeney was arrested. He acted in an aggressive manner when he was arrested.

A few days later he sent a letter to gardaí apologising for his actions.

Sweeney’s solicitor, Tom Walsh said that the recovering alcoholic had a relapse that day and has little recollection of his conduct on the day. The defendant, who has eight previous convictions, is currently sober.

For the section two assault on Ann Ward, Judge Mary Devins convicted and fined him €300 and sentenced to three months in prison; with the final month suspended if he pays €500 to Ann Ward on or before February 14 2013. For the assault on Damien McGrath he was convicted and fined €300 and sentenced to three months in prison concurrent; with the final month suspended on the condition that he pays €500 to Damien McGrath on or before February 14 2013. Judge Devins convicted and fined him €100 for the criminal damage and he was ordered to pay €100 compensation. The threatening and abusive and being intoxicated in a public place charges were taken into consideration.

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