Violent brawl on Laois street
A Portlaoise man and a youth were last week charged in connection with a brawl on the streets of Portlaoise.
Brendan McInernery, 36, of 32 Highfield Meadows, Portlaoise, was charged with violent disorder, at Church Street, Portlaoise, on February 4, 2018.
A 16-year-old was also charged with violent disorder in connection with the incident.
Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on February 4, 2018, at 1.30am on Portlaoise Main Street and Church Street, a large group of people were involved in violent behaviour.
Brendan McInerney was fighting and punching another male and he could clearly be seen on the CCTV footage.
He had ten previous convictions, including four for public order and one for violent disorder.
Sgt Kirby further gave evidence that the youth was heavily involved in the fight, kicking and punching a male on the ground. During the incident, the window of a local business was broken.
Defence for Brendan McInerney, Mr Philip Meagher said that a number of families had attended an 18th birthday party in a local pub and a difficulty arose among a number of women present, with one group leaving the premises to get taxis and one group remaining in the pub.
The first group couldn’t get taxis, so when the second group left 20 minutes later the matter was rekindled and one word followed another.
Mr Meagher said the accused remained on the fringes of the brawl for some time, but then a 16-year-old male came upon the incident and became involved with one of the men.
The accused tried to pull the youth away and then began fighting with the other man.
Mr Meagher said that his client, who is part of the local Traveller Action Group, is on medication for depression and was concerned about how the court would deal with the incident due to his previous conviction for violent disorder.
Judge Staines said this was appalling behaviour on the streets of Portlaoise on a Saturday night.
“To witness a large group punching and fighting must be terrifying,” said the judge. “He had a previous conviction for violent disorder for which he got a suspended sentence and he then went out and did it again.”
Brendan McInerney was sentenced to six months in prison, with recognisance fixed in the event of an appeal.
As the youth had no previous convictions his case was adjourned to July 11 for a probation report.