An Grianan Fort vandal pair due back in court today

An Grianan Fort vandal pair due back in court today
Two men arrested in connection with a vandalism incident at one of the most important heritage sites in the country are due to re-appear in court today (Thursday) after being remanded in prison earlier this week.

Two men arrested in connection with a vandalism incident at one of the most important heritage sites in the country are due to re-appear in court today (Thursday) after being remanded in prison earlier this week.

19-year-old William Sweeney of Oakland Park in Derry and Raymond McCormick (21) McCormick of Ballbane Pass in Derry were remanded in detention when they admitted criminal damage at the monument in Burt, when they appeared before Letterkenny District Court on Monday.

The court heard rocks were pulled from the 3,000-year-old walls of An Grianan Fort and tourists threatened and mocked during the incident.

Garda Eddie Doherty, from Buncrana Garda Station, told Judge Paul Kelly of the “absolutely disgraceful scenes” which greeted him when he arrived at the fort just before noon last Saturday.

“More than 40 people arrived down (from Derry) on Friday night and they set up a camp with tents in the centre of this historic monument,” said Garda Doherty.

Garda Doherty said the two men, he said, were mocking American tourists and had also targeted a Chinese family who had taken refuge in their car.

Patsy Gallagher, solicitor said his clients were “deeply remorseful” for their behaviour.

“It appears this party was advertised in Facebook and more than 40 other people turned up,” he said.

Judge Paul Kelly said they displayed “loutish, ignorant and thuggish” behaviour. He remanded them to prison to appear today in Buncrana District Court and also asked for a report on the cost of repairing the damage from the Office of Public Works.