A DISTRICT Court Judge has said he is disappointed to hear mention of a feud between two related families in Clonakilty.
Judge James McNulty made the remark at Clonakilty District Court this week where five defendants faced a number of charges including assault, violent disorder and trespassing, over one night in Clonakilty last year.
Gda Jason Cotter told the court that there was a history between the Williamson and O’Driscoll families, but he hoped that they would all remain calm in the future.
Insp Brian Murphy described the incidents as ‘a play in three acts’ between September 1st and 2nd last year. The first incident involved Dylan O’Driscoll (19) of 84 Tawnies Crescent, Clonakilty, who pleaded guilty to assaulting his younger cousin on a pitch behind Clonakilty Community College on September 1st.
As a result of this incident, Bradley Williamson (19) – a brother of the injured party – of Moses Rd, Clonakilty along with Karl Siweck (19) of 1 The Belfry, Clonakilty faced a trespass charge after they turned up at the house of Dylan O’Driscoll’s grandmother, Anne O’Driscoll, in the early hours of the morning, looking for an explanation for the earlier assault.
Mr Williamson was then later assaulted on Pearse Street at around 1.30am by Dylan O’Driscoll, Kenneth O’Driscoll and their uncle John O’Driscoll.
The court was told that he suffered a wound to his head which required five stitches following the assault which was captured on CCTV and shown in court. The three men said they had been driving around the town looking for a younger cousin when the assault took place after Kenneth O’Driscoll jumped out of John’s van and assaulted Mr Williamson.
Dylan O’Driscoll was found guilty of the two assault charges, as well as violent disorder.
Kenneth O’Driscoll of 1 Ard na Greine, Courtmacsherry was convicted of assaulting Bradley Williamson and of violent disorder. Their uncle John O’Driscoll of 24 Molaga Street, Clonakilty was also found guilty of the same assault, but had the charge of violent disorder dismissed.
Both Bradley Williamson and Karol Siweck were found guilty on the trespass charge also. Allegations that they had a weapon on the night could not be proved and gardaí said they did not find any evidence of weapons.
Solicitor Plunkett Taaffe, representing Kenneth O’Driscoll, said that the ‘elephant in the room is that there is a long standing feud between these two families.’
‘There’s ongoing tension between the two families and they are related which makes it worse. This is the second generation involved in this,’ said Mr Taaffe.
Judge McNulty said he is glad to say that the courts operate an equality policy.
‘Whether you are a traveller or a settled person, a local or a visitor, Irish on non-national, if you engage in serious public order offending in West Cork you are likely to go to prison, and sooner rather than later,’ said Judge McNulty.
He noted that the violence ‘wasn’t savage or out of control and it was all in one bad spell which lasted a few hours.’
Judge McNulty remanded all five defendants on continuing bail to appear again in court on June 4th to determine penalties and directed that probation reports be prepared on each defendant.