TWO brothers were involved in a 20-man ‘brawl’ in a Westport hotel that resulted in the establishment having to reimburse guests with over €6,000, a District Court has heard.
Eddie Power (34) of 11 Bridgeview, Cloverhill Road, Clondalkin, and his brother, Sam Power (30) of 10 Bridgeview, Cloverhill Road, Clondalkin, appeared before last week’s sitting of Castlebar District Court where they both pleaded guilty to two offences each under the Public Order Act.
The court heard that both brothers were part of a large group of family and friends who had travelled to Westport to spend the New Year when the incident occurred.
Sergeant Margaret O’Connor told the court that on January 3, 2020 gardaí were called to Hotel Westport at 12.45am after a report of 20 people involved in a ‘large brawl’. When the gardaí arrived, they noticed a number of small altercations taking place. Subsequently, seven gardaí from Castlebar Garda Station had to make their way to the hotel to help out.
At the scene, Sgt O’Connor said that two males, later identified as Eddie and Sam Power, were acting ‘extremely aggressive’.
The court heard that Sam Power ‘squared up’ to one of the gardaí and started ‘roaring profanities’ in his face. He said: ‘Fuck you guard. Go on, arrest me, you fucking guard’, continuing to act in an aggressive manner before he was arrested.
Gardaí told Eddie Power, who was ‘extremely intoxicated’ and ‘bleeding profusely’ from his eye, to leave the scene and return to his room, but he refused. He then attempted to interfere with the other arrest and demanded to be arrested himself.
Defending solicitor Patricia Lally told the court that her clients had travelled to Westport to celebrate the New Year with a group.
She said they had been drinking during the day before this incident occurred amongst the group in the bar of the hotel. She told the court that her clients ‘apologise profusely’ for the incident, that they were ‘very embarrassed’ and sorry for ‘wasting the gardaí’s time’.
The court heard that Sam Power – who has three previous convictions – was a father of three young children, two of whom have autism, and was in receipt of carers allowance. Eddie Power – who has eight previous convictions – is a father of four children and also in receipt of benefits. They had €150 each in court for compensation.
Sgt O’Connor told the court that the hotel was forced to offer a number of reimbursements to guests who were disturbed by the incident that night, and after Judge Fiona Lydon requested the hotel be canvassed for the costs, it was revealed that ten guests were given refunds totaling €6,160, with one more outstanding.
The court heard that the guests were on a three-night package worth €616. However Ms Lally disputed this, saying that her clients were on a similar package and it ‘was around €200’.
Ms Lally said the compensation was a ‘huge sum of money’ and that her clients were not in a position to reimburse the hotel to the full extent.
Judge Lydon adjourned sentencing to today, January 21 so she could ‘reflect and finalise’ the verdict. She added that she was ‘focused more’ on Eddie Power, and that she would be considering a custodial sentence.