Stripped to underpants at Rory Gallagher festival

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A Lurgan man, who stripped to his underpants, and dived off a bridge into a river during a music festival, was convicted and fined at Ballyshannon district court last Friday.

Superintendent Colm Nevin told the court that Gerard McConville, Beech Court, Lurgan, jumped from a bridge on the River Erne into a river while he was drunk at the Rory Gallagher Festival in the county Donegal town on June 5 2010.

The court heard a large crowd had gathered to watch the incident as gardai had to help the defendant to safety by bringing him over fences to safety.

And the same defendant was found hiding naked from the waist up under whin bushes after a road traffic accident in a separate incident on June 1 2015.

The 24 year-old defendant, admitted a charge of being drunk and a danger to himself and others at Allingham Bridge on June 5 2010 at the Rory Gallagher Festival.

And he also pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving at Market Yard Ballyshannon on May 30 2009, and possession of drugs at the same location.

Superintendent Colm Nevin told the court garda Shane Maye saw a car spinning its wheels and revving at the back of the Fire Station in the Market Yard, Ballyshannon.

The garda saw the silver Corsa car stopping a young person from entering the area and the defendant also narrowly missed two marked vehicles in the area.

The officer also noticed something falling from McConville’s pocket which was cannabis valued at E20.

The defendant was then taken to Ballyshannon garda station

And on June 1 2015 at 4.44 am, gardai was called to the scene of a road traffic accident at Ballinacarrick Ballyshannon.

They saw a Black Audi A 5 that hit a wall on the by-pass after it failed to complete a left turn from a slip road.

Two people were at the scene, and they were taken to hospital.

Gardai found McConville who was hiding under some whin bushes about 75 metres away.

He was naked from the waist up and was suffering from hypothermia and was brought to Sligo Regional Hospital.

He was charged with dangerous driving, having no insurance and drunk driving.

The court heard he had no previous convictions.

Defence solicitor Rory O’Brien said all of the incidents had happened at the Rory Gallagher Festival in Ballyshannon.

His client was 19-20 when most of these offences happened and was now 24 and came back to have all of these matters dealt with.

The solicitor said his client was in full time employment as a fork- lift driver in Lurgan and his mother was supporting him in court.

His client was also in a steady relationship, the court heard.

The solicitor said two references from employers were available to the court.

He added that his client would not be coming back to the Rory Gallagher Festival any more and would be staying in Lurgan.

Judge Kevin Kilrane queried why the defendant could not come back to the Republic.

The judge added that it was serious that he could not apparently come back to the Republic without going crazy.

Judge Kilrane wondered why the Lurgan man could not just be disciplined when he comes into this jurisdiction.

The judge fined McConville E200 for dangerous driving at the Market Yard on May 30 2009 and banned him from driving for two years.

The judge also took a charge of possession of cannabis into consideration.

The judge further took into consideration a charge of the defendant being drunk and a danger to himself and others at Allingham Bridge on June 5 2010.

Judge Kilrane fined McConville E300 for having no insurance at Ballinacarrick, Ballyshannon on June 1 last and banned him for another two years that was also concurrent with the previous sentence.

The State agreed to reduce a charge of dangerous driving at the same location to a lesser charge of careless driving.

The defendant was fined E200 and given another concurrent driving ban of two years.

And a charge of drunk driving at the same venue was struck out.