Carrick-on-Shannon District Court
A man from Strokestown caused extensive damage to a hotel bedroom in Carrick-on-Shannon after spending a day drinking in the town, the local District Court heard.
Kevin Kennedy, 9 Kildallogue Heights, Strokestown, Co Roscommon, pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal damage to The Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon on March 9, 2019.
Sgt Michael Gallagher said Gardai were called to investigate a complaint of criminal damage to room number 81 in The Bush Hotel by night staff who were on duty at the time.
Various items in the room were smashed and significant cleaning and deodorising was required before the room could be reused.
Sgt Gallagher said the room was in turmoil. A 24 inch flat screen TV was smashed on the floor, the TV socket was pulled out from the wall, the lock to the main door was destroyed, the trouser press destroyed, the kettle was unusable, and there were holes in the wall.
Sgt Gallagher said a high degree of intoxication was a significant factor. Mr Kennedy had no previous convictions.
Solicitor for the defendant, Martin Burke, said Mr Kennedy came to Carrick-on-Shannon to meet some friends, he checked into the Bush Hotel, had quite a good bit of drink and then returned to the hotel that night.
He said the 47-year-old lives on his own in Strokestown. He has struggled with alcohol in the past but slipped off the wagon and slipped quite badly.
Mr Burke said Mr Kennedy was on medication but he had stopped taking it prior to this incident as he felt it wasn’t helping him.
He said Mr Kennedy had an awful lot to drink and had very little recollection of it. He accepted his responsibility for the damage to the room and was very remorseful about the incident.
He expressed his remorse in a letter to the hotel owner, Joe Dolan, and Mr Dolan accepted his apology. A sum of €1,800 was also paid over to the injured party to compensate for the damage caused.
Mr Burke said Mr Kennedy is now fully sober and had attended a residential treatment course in Cuan Mhuire and is attending regular Zoom AA meetings.
He described it as “a very nasty incident” and said Mr Kennedy was very much embarrassed it had taken place.
The defendant is not working at the moment and is receiving social welfare payments. Mr Kennedy said he helps his father on the farm and apologised for what happened.
Judge Kevin Kilrane said Mr Kennedy appeared to have had some problem with alcohol that propelled him to behave in the manner he did.
“He absolutely trashed the room, he destroyed everything in sight,” said the judge and acknowledged it was very embarrassing for him to have all of the facts outlined in open court.
He said there were mitigating circumstances in terms of his plea, that he has no previous convictions and that compensation of €1,800 had been paid.
Judge Kilrane said he was impressed by the letter from Joe Dolan of The Bush Hotel.
He said Mr Dolan has at all times been a very decent and upstanding member of the community.
Mr Dolan, in his letter, acknowledged receiving the compensation and Mr Kennedy’s apology, which he accepted and said the matter was concluded as far as he was concerned.
“It is a very forgiving letter,” said the judge, “and knowing Mr Dolan as we do, nothing less would be expected from him.”
Judge Kilrane said Mr Dolan’s acceptance went a long way to helping the defendant.
He said he didn’t think Mr Kennedy was a risk of re-offending if he stays off the drink and he urged him to continue to do so.
In each case he applied the Probation Act 1.1.