Thurles District Court
A Littleton man who set fire to his brother’s car after smashing its windows, was fined and ordered to pay compensation at Thurles district court.
Jason Reilly, 8 Derrynaflan Avenue, Littleton, appeared before Judge Elizabeth MacGrath in relation to numerous public order matters and causing criminal damage to his brother’s car.
On March 11, 2020, garda Robert O’Donovan was on duty in Thurles and responded to a call regarding a “highly intoxicated” male. He observed Mr Reilly in Parnell Street, lying on the top of a wall, one side of which had a sheer drop of about 20 feet.
Garda O’Donovan said he was careful not to startle Mr Reilly for fear he might fall down. “He was highly intoxicated, his speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet,” said garda O’Donovan. Mr Reilly was charged with being intoxicated to such an extent as to be a danger to himself and to others.
In court, Mr Reilly said he was never breathalysed. “I was literally 150 yards from my house. I was going home,” he said. Mr Reilly said that “no way” was he a danger to himself. Judge MacGrath said she was satisfied the facts were proven and fined Mr Reilly €100. Mr Reilly said he would “like to know who the injured party is” and invoked his human rights.
Separately, on December 4, 2019, garda James Maher said he observed Mr Reilly walking at Dempsey Square, Thurles. Mr Reilly was “unsteady on his feet” and there was a strong smell of intoxicating liquor from his breath, said garda Maher. As they spoke, Mr Reilly said garda Maher “would regret it”, numerous times. “His voice was raised in a threatening fashion to me and another garda,” said garda Maher. “He was not walking in a straight line. Had he stumbled onto the roadway, it could have been a very serious matter.” Insp James White maintained that Mr Reilly’s tone constituted a threat.
Judge MacGrath dismissed the section 6 public order charge as she didn’t see “all the ingredients” present to prove threatening behaviour. However, Mr Reilly was fined €100 in relation to being intoxicated while being a danger to himself and others.
On May 12, 2019, Kelsey O’Dwyer awoke to the sound of a bang and shouting at about 2am, in the vicinity of Derrynaflan Avenue, Littleton.
Ms O’Dwyer told Judge MacGrath that she looked out her window and saw Jason Reilly “outside, shouting.” Mr Reilly was “sticking up his finger”. She could see flames in the back of a car. “I rang the gardaí.”
Ms O’Dwyer recognised Mr Reilly as her partner’s brother. The car was Mr Reilly’s brother’s Toyota Corolla. “I saw him break the back window of the car,” she said. “I was at my sitting room window. The car was in the driveway. He was shouting, I could not understand what he was saying. He had an item in his hand.” She saw a flame in the back seat, at the rear seat headrest.
Brian Reilly, Jason’s brother, said he saw Jason “walking down” the street. His back car window was smashed and there was damage to the back window, valued at €150. His relationship with his brother is “on and off at the moment.”
Garda David Carey said he received a report of a car that had been criminally damaged that morning. At 2.45am Mr Reilly approached him. “He said he wanted to sort something out. He was intoxicated, unsteady on his feet. I arrested him under the public order act,” said garda Carey.
Mr Reilly was charged with being intoxicated while being a danger to himself and others, and, later, with causing criminal damage at 24 Derrynaflan Avenue, Littleton, to the back window and back passenger window of a silver Toyota Corolla, belonging to Brian Reilly.
Judge MacGrath said she was satisfied that Mr Reilly had been positively identified. “This was not a fleeting glimpse,” she said.
“She saw him set fire to the headrest” and observed him “over a sustained long period of time.” Mr Reilly was “well known” to Ms O’Dwyer.
Judge MacGrath found the facts proven. The case was adjourned to July 27 for compensation of €150 to be produced and for a victim impact statement. Mr Reilly was further fined €100 in relation to the public order offence.
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