Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland man who blamed Donegal hotel rampage on 'gypsies' convicted

By Stephen Maguire

A Co Down man who ran naked into a hotel lobby claiming there were “gypsies” in his bedroom has been found guilty of criminal damage.

Marketing manager Eamon Devlin pulled the taps off walls causing huge flood damage to Ballyliffin Lodge Hotel in Co Donegal in September, 2016.The 41-year-old from Drumintee Road in Killeavy, Newry, had earlier gone downstairs into the hotel lobby completely naked saying there were gypsies in his room, before he ransacked it.

He instructed his legal team to plead not guilty and blamed an over-the-counter tablet for sparking a psychosis which led to his “bizarre behaviour”.

The defence team claimed his consumption of the tablets with alcohol had led to a case of “involuntary intoxication”.

But a jury yesterday found him guilty of causing criminal damage.

Judge John Aylmer remanded Devlin on bail and adjourned sentencing to the next sitting of Letterkenny Circuit Court in December.

The trial heard how Devlin booked into the hotel with his three-year-old son as he was going through a divorce and wanted to spend time with him. They enjoyed a day out playing pitch and putt before having a swim and some bar food at the hotel.

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

However, in the early hours of the morning, around 5am, Devlin arrived naked in the reception of the hotel, carrying his son, who was in his pyjamas. He asked staff to come to his room, number 214, claiming there were “gypsies” in his room and that he needed to get them out.

Night porter Seamus Henry went to the room but found nothing wrong.

At around 6am Mr Henry received a phone call from room 215 complaining of shouting in Devlin’s room. Mr Henry said he went upstairs and the room was under three inches of water and that sinks had been pulled off the bathroom wall and there was broken glass everywhere.

Belfast Telegraph

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