A young man out paintballing with friends has no blot on his record despite setting off a smoke grenade in a nightclub in Cork.
Chris Conroy of 46 Mervue Lawn, Ballyvolane, Cork, pleaded guilty to charges including a count contrary to the Explosives Act arising out of the incident at the Secret Garden and got fines and community service at Cork District Court.
His solicitor, Dennis Healy, said at Cork Circuit Appeals Court today that the appellant had no other previous convictions and was anxious to avoid any conviction as he was keen to travel to Canada.
Mr Healy reminded Judge Brian O’Callaghan that the appeal had been in court previously and the appellant was told to bring €500 to court for charity. Mr Healy confirmed that had been done.
Judge O’Callaghan said he would allow the appeal and struck out the three convictions against the accused that had been imposed on him at Cork District Court. He wished the young man the best with his Canadian travel plans.
Sergeant Gearóid Davis outlined the background to the incident when the matter first came before Cork District Court.
“At 1.30am on August 22, 2018, Gardaí responded to a call at the Secret Garden on Washington Street, Cork.
“A man had set off a smoke grenade in the middle of the nightclub.
"He was intoxicated and a danger. He was unsteady on his feet. While being arrested he became aggressive and resisted.”
Dennis Healy, defence solicitor, said at the time: “He wrote a letter of apology to the Secret Garden. It is probably the most stupid thing he has done in his life. He regrets it.
“He was out paintballing. And he had used a smoke grenade during the day.”
Mr Healy said Conroy had another smoke grenade in his pocket and set it off in the nightclub. As it happened there was some kind of smoke effect in the club on the night so the setting off of the smoke grenade did not cause any major scene.
“No one panicked, no one ran out of the building which was fortunate,” Mr Healy said.
Judge Olann Kelleher said the 30-year-old could do 100 hours of community service for resisting Garda Brendan McBride. He fined the accused €200 for being drunk and a danger and €400 for igniting a firework contrary to the Explosives Act 1875, as substituted by Criminal Justice Act 2006.
All three convictions were struck out on appeal today following the payment by Conroy of €500 to charity.