#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 3°C Monday 29 November 2021

Son of Ivor Callely given 240 hours of community service for lighting firework in Dublin nightclub

Oliver Callely pleaded guilty to the charge in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last year.

Image: Sasko LazarovRollingnews.ie

THE SON OF former politician Ivor Callely has been ordered to perform community service in lieu of a prison sentence for lighting a firework in Copper Face Jacks nightclub.

Oliver Callely (28) of St Lawrences Road, Clontarf, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to igniting fireworks at the Harcourt Street club on 6 July, 2015.

Callely was standing on a balcony overlooking a crowded smoking area when he lit the firework which took off and got stuck between a man’s arm and body.

Judge Karen O’Connor, who heard evidence in the case last December, today ordered Callely to do 240 hours of community service over a 12-month period in lieu of a two-year prison service.

Dean Kelly, defending, previously told the court that earlier that day Dublin had beaten Mayo in a football replay and his client had drunk a great deal.

The court heard they were sell-out games and that the nightclub was very crowed, with hundreds if not thousands of people.

The victim was in the smoking area when he saw a spark and heard a bang before realising he had “caught on fire”.

He patted himself down and said it wasn’t sore at the time. He said he began to feel pain a little later and he was treated by the nightclub’s on site medical centre.

The next day he still felt in pain and was referred to hospital by his GP and was treated in the burns unit. He attended the burns unit eight times over the next two months.

The court previously heard Callely had the firework from earlier in the day when fireworks were being lit during the football game.

Callely was arrested after coming to a garda station by arrangement. He made no comment during interviews and a file was sent to the DPP.

He left the jurisdiction prior to being charged and took up work in the US. He was later arrested under an extradition warrant and spent just under a month in a federal facility.

Injuries impacted sports career

Sergeant Niall Murray previously told the court that Callely described to him his time in US custody and it sounded “very brutal”.

In an impact statement, the victim said that the injuries have impacted his sports career and he still experiences itchiness and discomfort where he was burned.

He said Callely’s actions were dangerous and could have had much worse consequences but he didn’t wish Callely to go to prison.

Counsel said his client’s behaviour was a “moronically stupid and dangerous act” and that “it was reckless as opposed to having any intention to cause harm”.

He said his client had a troubled and difficult family life and that his parents are separated.

Counsel also said that Callely had not enjoyed a positive relationship with his father and he had experienced difficulties as a result of his father’s public profile.

He added that Callely had given €6,500 to the victim in addition to the unconditional offer of €1,000 he brought to the last court appearance.

Defence counsel said the €2,500 bail surety would also be made available to the complainant when it was returned.

Judge O’Connor said she was not told about the €6,500 being made available to the victim until today and that it was not influencing her decision.

She said Callely had opportunities in his life that most people before the court had not been lucky enough to have, such as food on the table, a home, a very good education and a supportive family.

But the judge also noted that Callely had a difficult relationship with his father and that it was not easy for him in school having a father with a high profile.

She said drinking was no defence to his behaviour, but accepted that lighting the firework in the nightclub was reckless but not a targeted attack.

The judge said the maximum sentence was five years, but ordered Callely to do 240 hours community service over a 12-month period in lieu of a two-year prison sentence.

The judge, following sentencing, told Callely that it was his last chance and said he was old enough to know better.

About the author:

Declan Brennan and Michelle O'Keeffe

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel