*Photograph: Robert Fairfield
A judge asked ‘is there something in the water around here?’ after hearing a weapon and criminal damage allegation that a man took a consaw used for cutting stone to cut into the external walls of a pub on the border between Clare and Tipperary.
At Killaloe District Court sitting in Ennis, Judge Alec Gabbett, who sits in district courts across the country, asked the question after hearing an outline of the State case against Mr Brendan Ryan (37) of Cooleen, Birdhill, Co Tipperary.
Sgt Louis Moloney said that the State will allege that on around 9.15pm on November 1st last, Mr Ryan took the consaw to cut into the walls of Liam O’Riain’s pub exterior wall.
Sgt Moloney said that video footage shows Mr Ryan holding the consaw and also cutting a bar stool being held up by publican, Liam McKeogh which Mr McKeogh produced while Mr Ryan was attempting to damage the pub building.
Judge Gabbett stated that a consaw is used to stone and pavements with a spinning circular blade on top. He said, “It is a very useful tool if used appropriately.”
Sgt Moloney said that Mr Ryan is a stone mason by trade and would have been used to using such an instrument.
Sgt Moloney stated that the State will further allege that “there was a previous altercation or run in between the parties that led to this incident”.
In response, Judge Gabbett asked, “Is there something in the water around here? Is it to do with something more about being put out? Or being refused a pint? It is very strange the whole thing”.
After hearing an outline of the State case against Mr Ryan, Judge Gabbett said that the case can be heard in the district court.
In the case, Mr Ryan is charged with producing an article, a consaw, capable of inflicting serious injury in the course of a dispute outside O’Rian’s pub, Main Street, Ballina on November 1st last under Section 11 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act.
Mr Ryan is also charged with criminal damage of O’Rian’s pub on the same date and Judge Gabbett ordered that disclosure in the case be provided to solicitor, Stiofan Fitzpatrick for the accused.
Judge Gabbett adjourned the case to October 4th for Mr Ryan to either confirm he is to contest the case or enter a plea of guilt.