Belfast Telegraph

'Spoiled brat' rugby star who admitted assault held in custody

By Greg Harkin

A judge branded a promising rugby star a "spoiled brat" yesterday before remanding him in custody on a series of assault and public order offences.

Darragh Farragher (19), the son of a retired garda, looked visibly shaken as he was led away from Donegal District Court in handcuffs following the case, which involved three separate incidents.

Judge Kevin Kilrane expressed his shock when he learned that an altercation on July 21 this year in the Diamond area of Donegal town took place just 10 days after Farragher had pleaded guilty to assaulting a man.

In that incident -- in July 2010 -- local man Darragh Sweeney lost two front teeth when he was punched by Farragher, a student at Carlow IT and one of 25 young rugby players to be chosen from 800 applicants for the IRFU's Leinster development programme.

Yesterday, the court heard that Farragher, of Finadoose, Donegal town, had pleaded guilty to assault for that offence. He had also admitted being involved in another public order offence on May 29 this year in the same area of the town.

The earlier hearing in July ordered Farragher to pay compensation of ?3,500 as well as medical expenses to Mr Sweeney for his broken teeth.

At that stage, Judge Kilrane adjourned the case for a probation report.

However, the same judge yesterday said he needed more time to consider what sentence the defendant should get following the new incident.

The court heard Farragher had become involved in yet another row -- again in the Diamond of the town -- and had grabbed gardai, one of whom was forced to use pepper spray to restrain him. He was charged with obstructing a garda.

"I have to consider that this incident took place on July 21, which was 10 days after he was here pleading guilty to the previous assault," said Judge Kilrane.

"This young man is a spoiled brat . . . he is spoiled. He has to be stopped."

Farragher was remanded in custody to St Patrick's Institution for five days to appear again at the same court next Monday for sentencing.

Judge Kilrane warned: "He faces a lengthy prison sentence unless I am very impressed by his contrition."

In a dramatic twist to the case, a solicitor for Farragher re-appeared in court yesterday afternoon to make a fresh application for bail.

But Judge Kilrane refused to release the teenager and, referring to his father -- a retired garda -- the judge said: "The defendant knows better than anyone the difficulty gardai have in dealing with public order. He is spoiled rotten. He believes because of the employment of his father that he has a special dispensation."

Belfast Telegraph


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