Brothers beat sibling over ‘marriage’

FOUR brothers savagely beat up their younger brother in the back of a car after he refused to take part in an arranged marriage, but avoided jail with a payment to charity.

Johnny McDonagh fled his Co Donegal home in 2009 after his family arranged a marriage for him.

However, four of his brothers — Thomas, Martin, Michael and Terence — followed him to Kilkenny to take him home. During the journey home, Johnny, who was aged 17 at the time, was attacked by two brothers in the back of the car.

Later, the brothers swapped seats and two other brothers also beat him up.

The victim was only able to alert gardaí after he was locked in a caravan and managed to use a mobile phone.

The four brothers, all with an address at the Big Isle, Letterkenny, were charged with assaulting Johnny on December 4, 2009. All four entered a late guilty plea to the charges of assault.

Letterkenny Circuit Court was told how all of the accused had previous convictions for various offences including assault, theft and public order offences.

The court was told that peace had now broken out among the brothers.

It was claimed in court that no marriage had been arranged but the brothers had travelled to Kilkenny because the victim was taking illegal substances.

Judge John O’Hagan said the legal system was there to protect everyone: “You can’t, as a community of people, take the law into your own hands.”

He sentenced all four to three months in prison but suspended the sentences for six months. He also ordered each to pay €500 to charity.

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