Judge questions community ethos after Brazilians assaulted

A Circuit Court judge this week questioned how a Letterkenny man was able to round up a "lynch mob" of around 30 people to attack a group of Brazilian nationals.

Sentencing John Brogan of 35 Solomon's Court to four years in prison with two suspended, Judge Ray Fullam declared at Letterkenny Circuit Court: "It does not reflect well on a community that an individual can round up a lynch mob of thirty to attack a blameless minority."

The judge also expressed concern that while one man had been before the courts in relation to the incident, which occured four years ago, 29 people involved were still on the streets.

The court heard that Brogan (31) had "summoned" by mobile phone a number of people to engage in a confrontation with a group of Brazilians after he had emerged from the Glencar Inn on Letterkenny's Circular Road.

A number of weapons were deployed in the attack including an axe used by the defendant who had struck two of the Brazilians, Sando de Souza and Walter de Silva who was hit on the back of the head during the incident at 117 Meadowbank estate. "Mr. de Silva is lucky to be alive," declared Judge Fullam who heard evidence of the incident which occured

on the evening of May 21st, 2005.

Describing the attack as a "premeditated one on blameless Brazilians", the judge said there had been a "serious risk of death" and both victims had feared for their lives.

Brogan, who earlier this week changed his plea from "not guilty" to "guilty" in relation to two charges of unlawful assault and one of criminal damage at the house owned by George Boyle, told the court he had been addicted to drugs and alcohol at the time and had since received counselling. He apologised to his victims with Judge Fullam stating he was satisfied that the remorse was genuine.

Before Tuesday's sentencing, defence counsel, David Goldberg, S.C., also questioned how only one man had come before the court in relation to the incident which he described as a serious matter.

The court heard that Brogan, who had himself spent five days in hospital and intensive care after being stabbed during the incident, had offered 5,000 euro each to his assault victims and had a sum of 2,140 euro in court to pay to the owner of the property at Meadowbank.


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