22 September 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A 30-YEAR-OLD Monaghan town man, who admitted being involved in a number of public order incidents, arising out of what was described as a “melee” in the town, has been told to expect to be ordered to carry out community service.

Conor Ballantine of 6 Devin Reilly Terrace, Killygoan, Monaghan town, was charged with failing to comply with Garda directions, being drunk in public and engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour at Dublin Street, Monaghan on 27th June last.

Mr Ballantine told the court he was discharging his solicitor, Martin Cosgrove, and that he wished to represent himself in the matter. He was pleading guilty to the charges, he confirmed to Judge Denis McLoughlin.

Inspector Pat O’Connell said gardai had been called to a melee on Dublin Street at 1.10am on Monday 27th June last. Garda Cathal Doherty was informed that Mr Ballantine had been one of the instigators of the trouble.

The garda then saw Mr Ballantine, and observed that he was very intoxicated. He directed him to go home, but the defendant became aggressive with members of the public, and he failed to comply with the instructions given by Gda Doherty. He was once more directed to leave and told that he would be arrested if he failed to comply. But he failed do so again and was arrested.

Mr Ballantine had a total of 26 previous convictions, the inspector stated. These included three for public intoxication, eight for being threatening and abusive, one for disorderly conduct, one for obstructing a garda, one for an assault causing harm, one for having drugs in his possession and another for having dugs for sale or supply, one for theft, and others for road traffic offences including having no insurance, no driving licence, and careless driving.

Noting that the defendant had “quite a criminal record’, Judge McLoughlin asked if he had anything to say about the incident before the court.

Mr Ballantine said it was just that he was drunk on the occasion.

Judge McLoughlin told the defendant that his drinking seemed to be quite a regular occurrence. Upon being asked by the judge if he would be willing to carry out community service, Mr Ballantine said he would.
On that basis, he was remanded on continuing bail to the hearing on 7th November next to allow a probation report on his suitability for such work to be carried out.

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