A “chaotic scene” greeted gardaí who were called to a Killarney hotel in the early hours in which guests “ostensibly celebrating” children’s Confirmations threw bottles, ceramic table lamps, chairs and glasses in a bar of the hotel. Staff who tried to intervene and ferry other guests to safety were assaulted, a garda was kicked and pinned to the ground at the hotel entrance and her colleague was held by the throat; 10 more gardaí had to be called to contain the mayhem which erupted during a rival sing-along.
Professional cleaners also had to be called in to deal with the amount of broken glass which had become embedded in the bar area of the Quality Hotel , a popular hotel with families in Killarney, in an effort to remove the glass, the Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee was told yesterday.
Patrick Dinan (40) and his wife Mary Dinan (42), parents of seven children, two of whom had made their Confirmation, Goulds Hill, Mallow, Co Cork, and Mr Dinan’s sister Mary Ann Dinan (22), Séamus Murphy Place, Mallow, had all pleaded guilty to the charge of violent disorder at the Quality Hotel, Killarney, at about 1am on May 19th, 2013.
In addition, Dinan pleaded guilty to assaulting two gardaí and to criminal damage and his wife pleaded guilty to assaulting two civilians and damage to property. His sister pleaded guilty to assaulting two civilians and to damaging property. Another male relative referred to as “Mr D” was to be prosecuted in connection with the incident, Tom Rice, prosecuting said.
The Dinan family had been celebrating the Confirmation of two daughters and were having a sing-along in the Fusion Bar in the hotel when the women became involved in a verbal altercation with an adjoining table who were also singing, the sentencing hearing in Tralee was told on Tuesday.
A local family at an adjoining table were celebrating a Christening and themselves had entered the bar at 5pm, the sentencing hearing in Tralee was told. “Mary and Mary Ann Dinan began to throw bottles and ashtrays and glass objects pretty much at random. Glass objects began to fly,” Mr Rice said. A man who was sitting at a nearby table was “knocked off his chair, someone stood on his hand, resulting in two broken bones”.
When bar staff tried to intervene and get people to safety, they themselves were caught in the crossfire. Three staff were struck, two of them on the head, and the bar manager had to take a week off work. A woman at the adjoining table suffered back and neck injuries that continue to trouble her.
Some €2,500 worth of damage was caused to the bar. All three Dinans had consumed “a lorry-load” of drink, the court was told .
The whole scene was captured on CCTV footage. Dinan, although unsteady on his feet, had made valiant efforts to restrain the women and “to try to get the groups to retreat” , Garda Sgt David Callaghan said.
However Dinan, who has 71 previous convictions and is currently in prison, himself became embroiled in “extreme violence” when gardaí were called. He knocked a garda to the ground, kicked her and she had to take a week off work. He physically assaulted a garda accompanying her. It took six gardaí to restrain him on arrest.
The women, who retreated to a bedroom where the children, aged one to 14 were, staying had to be pepper-sprayed in front of the children. The court was told that Mary Ann Dinan – who had never come to Garda attention – had not taken a drink since, so shocked and appalled was she at her behaviour captured on CCTV; All three Dinans were remorseful and co-operative when arrested in August 2013 and all three had given up the drink.
Judge Thomas E O’Donnell said the evidence by Sgt Callaghan had been “graphic and shocking” and he singled out the staff of the hotel for their bravery. The incident had the “classic factors” of a spontaneous eruption of violence at “an ostensible family celebration with the adults still in the bar having consumed a lorry-load of drink”. He noted that probation reports for the women had been very positive.
Judge O’Donnell said the behaviour had been “scandalous” and there had been mayhem. He convicted each on all charges and sentenced each of the three to a total of two years and six months, suspending the sentences in the case of all three for four years.
At the the judge’s invitation, all three Dinans took the stand and apologised directly to Aidan Moynihan, the manager of the Quality Hotel who was in court , as well as to gardaí.