'Privileged' college students who trashed flat avoid convictions
COURT: Windows and mirrors broken in drunken rampage
A PAIR of "privileged" students who admitted their part in the trashing of a south Dublin apartment have been left without convictions after making donations to charity.
Patrick McAweeney was one of four students who broke into the apartment and smashed it up over grievances co-accused Daniel Shipley had had with the landlady.
Dublin District Court heard the four wrecked the apartment in an "act of madness" after a seven-hour drinking session.
UCD student McAweeney, of Mulvey Park, Dundrum, and DIT student Shipley (23) of Market Square, Dublin 1, admitted charges of burglary at the flat at Elmwood Avenue, Ranelagh, on November 12 last.
The case was heard earlier this year and was back before Dublin District Court for the accused to pay €500 each to charity and another €150 in witness expenses.
Judge Catherine Staines applied the Probation Act, leaving them without convictions after they brought the money to court.
The court heard previously that McAweeney was once named a "person of the year" for saving a drowning friend's life.
The four had been out drinking at D2 club on Harcourt Street and were returning home at 3.45am when they went to the apartment, knowing it was vacant at the time. Garda Kevin O'Keeffe said "a considerable" amount of damage was caused, including broken mirrors, doors and windows.
"They caused the damage because there was a history with this particular landlady -- there were grievances," Mr Spencer said. "It was out of character."
The four had paid the owner €300 each in compensation for the damage caused. The other two men had already been dealt with by the courts.
Shipley was "probably the least culpable of the four", Mr Spencer said, explaining that he knew what the others were going to do and did not stop them.
Judge Victor Blake had said alcohol was no excuse for what happened.
"These are very privileged men, being afforded an education and they are out drinking and gallivanting like this in these times," he said. "I understand they are young men with no previous convictions, but what they did on the night was a dreadful act."
McAweeney had been named a Rehab Person of the Year in 2004 for rescuing a friend who nearly drowned after they were both swept out to sea off the Donegal coast.
He was an environmental science student from a well-respected Cavan family. His father was a farmer who had played Gaelic football for his province.
From Monaghan, Shipley was studying environmental management in DIT.