‘Outlaw in-law’ ordered to keep the peace for 3 years

Traveller “in-laws became outlaws” as motorists witnessed items being flung between two moving vans in Killarney last summer, a court heard yesterday.

The incident on the Park Rd arose following a dispute between the O’Brien and Dooley families in Killarney, the local district court was told.

Gavin O’Brien, 24, of Ballyspillane, was charged with throwing a fold-up chair with intent to cause damage to a vehicle belonging to Thomas Dooley on Jun 20, 2012. He pleaded guilty.

Insp Fearghal Patwell said there had been a dispute between the two Traveller families.

On the date in question, after meeting at Daly’s Shop, both sides were involved in a dispute and began “throwing stuff at each other ” down the Park Rd, the inspector said.

Gavin O’Brien had got into a vehicle driven by another man and independent witnesses saw him throw a fold-up chair at the vehicle following behind him.

The chair broke the glass of the van, the inspector said.

Meanwhile, in a separate matter in the early hours of Dec 16 last, O’Brien was banging at his wife’s door at Doireann Alainn estate and calling her, her mother and sisters all sorts of names, the court was told.

He and his wife were separated at the time and O’Brien was in an intoxicated state and apparently wanted to get into the house to see his two children.

Pádraig O’Connell, solicitor for O’Brien, said his client was now back with his wife and had returned from Belgium, where he was working, in order to face the charges.

“All of this arose from a quasi domestic situation,” Mr O’Connell said, “briefly in-laws became outlaws for a period of time.”

“Family tensions between his family and the Dooley family gave rise to this,” he continued.

The public order offence in December was withdrawn by the prosecution, but Judge James O’Connor imposed a suspended sentence of six months on the principal charge.

Among the conditions of the suspended sentence was that O’Brien would have to “keep the peace with the Dooleys” for three years.

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