Young men 'started taking off their tops and looking for fights with gardaí', court hears

Three young men were remanded in custody for their parts in a violent disorder in the northside of Cork city last summer — the worst public order incident the local sergeant has seen in 10 years in the area,writes Liam Heylin.

Sergeant Stephen O’Sullivan gave evidence of the violent disorder in The Glen area at Cork Circuit Criminal Court. He said that he was 10 years working at Mayfield Garda Station and that this was the most serious incident of public order that he had encountered.

“We attended the scene on the night. A large group of lads were drinking. It was such a large crowd that we tried to disperse them.

“A number of them started taking off their tops and looking for fights with the gardaí who were present.

“A lot of them did disperse. We arrested and put handcuffs on PJ Meehan. We put him into the patrol car. We had to leave him unattended in the car as a large number of other youths were throwing bottles and stones at us.

“He then left the patrol car with the handcuffs still on and went running down the road.

“More bottles and stones were thrown at us. It was a pretty violent incident.

“As well as support from Garda patrol cars in all parts of Cork city on the night, we also required the support of units from Mallow and Bandon.”

“The entire incident went on for one and a half hours. In 10 years in Mayfield, it was the worst public order incident I have seen,” Sgt O’Sullivan said.

Patrick J. Meehan, aged 20, of 112 Comeragh Park, The Glen; James O’Regan, aged 19, of 22 Mangerton Close, The Glen; and Calum Nolan, aged 20, of 25 Mourne Avenue, The Glen, all pleaded guilty to engaging in violent disorder on June 9, 2016 at Glen Avenue.

Meehan pleaded guilty to a charge of stealing a set of handcuffs.

Sgt O’Sullivan said Meehan ran away on the night wearing the cuffs and must have removed them subsequently with a hacksaw.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said that Meehan, who was sitting in front of the other two defendants at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, was turning around to the others throughout the sentencing hearing.

“PJ is more interested in having a committee meeting. He is that way since the start. Maybe he is bored. Maybe he is distracted.

“He seems to want to have a committee meeting. He is certainly somewhere else,” the judge said.

Judge Ó Donnabháin then remanded all three of the men in custody until March 3 for sentencing.

This story first appeared in the Evening Echo.

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