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Dublin teen to face trial for drunken gang attack on tourists

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
He is charged with violent disorder with at least two other named males and other unknown people, and robbery in connection with the incident
He is charged with violent disorder with at least two other named males and other unknown people, and robbery in connection with the incident

A DUBLIN teenager has been sent forward for trial over a drunken gang attack on American tourists which left an 82-year-old woman in shock and man with a broken shoulder.

One of the tourists, Ryan Dillon (28), ended up hospitalised after he went sightseeing in Swords in north Co. Dublin with his girlfriend and her elderly grandmother.

A 17-year-old boy, who is in care, appeared at the Dublin Children's Court where he was served with a book of evidence. Judge John O'Connor then made an order sending the boy forward for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where he will face his next hearing on May 6.

He is charged with violent disorder with at least two other named males and other unknown people, and robbery in connection with the incident at Swords Town Park on the evening of May 2 last year.

After viewing CCTV footage and hearing an outline of the allegations Judge O'Connor held that the case was too serious to be dealt with in the Children's Court and should go forward to the Circuit Court which has tougher sentencing powers.

The boy, who was accompanied to court by his barrister Damian McKeone and care workers, was remanded on continuing bail. He has not yet entered a plea and cannot be identified because he is a minor.

A bench warrant has been issued for a teenage co-accused who failed to appear in court.

At 8.45pm Boston tourists Elaine Berube (82), her granddaughter Nicole Berube (26) and the young woman's boyfriend Ryan Dillon went into the park to take photos of Swords Castle.

The tourists had arrived in Ireland earlier that day to visit relatives in the west but stopped off in the north Co. Dublin town for a meal and some sightseeing.

In an outline of the allegations Garda Keith Delaney said it was alleged the teenage defendant had been in a group who had been drinking in the park.

Some of the gang started to stand in with the tourists for the photos and it was believed that this was to distract them, Gda Delaney said. One of the gang snatched a camera bag from them and ran but was chased by Mr Dillon, it was alleged.

“The group turned on him and proceeded to attack him and his girlfriend who tried to come to his assistance. A knife was produced by one of the group in the attack,” said Gda Delaney.

Mr Dillon suffered facial injuries as well as a broken shoulder and he required hospital treatment. The man's girlfriend was also punched when she tried to help Mr Dillon while the grandmother “was treated for shock, she is still not great,” said Gda Delaney.

It is alleged the youths, male and females, acted together with “common design”.

Earlier, the court heard that when interviewed the teenager, who had been intoxicated at the time of the incident, could not recall his level of involvement. It was accepted that he was present. He told gardai “if he could remember he would be honest and assist”. The teen who has attended addiction counselling went into care in 2014 and his parents had been concerned over his peer group.

An adult male is also before the courts in connection with the incident.