Belfast Telegraph

Lawyers for man accused of damaging four hotel rooms blame Night Nurse

By Stephen Maguire

A guest from Co Down accused of damaging four hotel rooms in Donegal ran down into the lobby naked and blamed "Gypsies" for the destruction.

Marketing manager Eamon Devlin is accused of causing thousands of euro worth of damage to Balyliffin Lodge Hotel.

His legal team has blamed the over-the-counter medication Day and Night Nurse for sparking a psychosis that led to Mr Devlin's "bizarre behaviour".

Mr Devlin, of Dromintee Road, Killeavy, Newry, appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court charged with causing criminal damage to the hotel and has pleaded not guilty.

He had booked into the hotel with his son (3) as he was going through a divorce with his wife in September 2016 and wanted to spend some time with his child.

The father and son had enjoyed a day playing pitch and putt at Ballyliffin Golf Club before having bar food at the hotel.

He had a pint of Carlsberg, an Irish coffee and took a bottle of wine to his room. At 11.30pm Mr Devlin ordered another bottle of wine to his room.

Around 5am Mr Devlin arrived in the hotel reception naked carrying his son, who was in his pyjamas.

He asked staff to come to his room, number 214, claiming there were "Gypsies" there and he needed to get them out.

Night porter Seamus Henry went to the room but found nobody else there.

At around 6am the night porter received a phonecall from room 215 complaining of shouting in the accused man's room.

Accompanied by another staff member, Mr Henry went upstairs and noticed the corridor was flooded.

They used the master key to gain entry to room 214 but had to force the door as it was damaged. When they gained entry to the room it was allegedly under three inches of water.

Mr Henry said sinks had been pulled off the bathroom wall and there was broken glass everywhere.

The court was told that the water later spread to three other rooms and at one stage it appeared that the ceiling of one room almost collapsed.

Hotel manager Colm O'Kane said he was telephoned at home to tell him what had happened and he arrived a short time later.

He said that Mr Devlin asked him: "Did you see them, did you see them? The Gypsies? Youse are doing a great job."

Mr Devlin, a marketing manager with a software company in Northern Ireland, was arrested and interviewed at Buncrana Garda station.

He blamed a combination of stress, medication and alcohol for his behaviour on the night and offered to pay compensation for the damage, saying he was deeply ashamed for what had happened.

Judge John Aylmer adjourned the case until today.

Belfast Telegraph

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