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Villagers ‘would not be safe’ if defendant was let out on bail

October 19th, 2021 1:30 PM

By Southern Star Team

Ian Curley appearing at an earlier court sitting. (Photo: Andrew Harris)

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A CIRCUIT Court judge was told that the people of Castletownshend simply wouldn’t be ‘safe’ if bail was granted to a local man.

Ian Curley (54) of James House in Castletownshend was appearing, from custody, before Judge Eoin Garavan to appeal the severity of sentences, totalling 10 months in prison for causing over €2,000 worth of damage in three separate incidents in Castletownshend last August.

Curley pleaded guilty to damaging a Toyota Land Cruiser at The Lawns estate, to the value of €1,050, as well as causing €639 worth of damage to a Volkswagen Golf at Cross Street.

He also caused €400 worth of damage to five window panes of glass at Mary Ann’s Bar and Restaurant.

At the time, Mr Curley’s solicitor Peter O’Flynn said his client has a long history of depression and alcohol misuse.

However, at the Circuit Court sitting in Clonakilty last week, State solicitor for West Cork Malachy Boohig told Judge Garavan: ‘Local Supt Gerard O’Mahony, contacted me to say the people of Castletownshend live in absolute fear of what might happen, if he was  released on bail.’ Mr Boohig also told the judge that if Ian Curley was released and returned to Castletownshend, then, ‘God only knows what would happen.’

Appearing for Ian Curley, and while acknowledging that his client had 25 previous convictions, barrister Peter O’Flynn said that Mr Curley had a long history of mental illness, including hypomania and that he had reacted badly when his brother had died last March, as he had on another occasion, following the death of his father in 2015.

‘It seems Mr Curley lost his sense of reason over the period and behaved accordingly,’ Mr O’Flynn said. Mr O’Flynn also told the court that it could be arranged that Ian Curley would attend mental health services in Bantry if he was released.

However, State solicitor Malachy Boohig told the court that Ian Curley could access psychiatric treatment in Cork Prison.

He also brought to the court’s attention subsequent convictions which were handed down at the end of September for other criminal damage incidents in Castletownshend, in which the same people who had their property previously damaged, were targeted.

Ian Curley, through his barrister, assured Judge Garavan that he had ‘no intention’ of returning to Castletownshend, and cited changes in his medication as another explanation for his behaviour.

Judge Garavan said that he wanted to see more progress and more examples that Curley was taking steps to address his issues and wanted to wait for a time before finalising matters.

The decision of the court will be finalised at a Circuit Court sitting in Bandon on Wednesday November 30th.

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