The case against a young man for spray-painting graffiti over pre-existing graffiti at The Shakey Bridge in Cork was dismissed after it emerged that Cork City Council “could not come up with a cost” for the damage.
The case before Cork District Court had been adjourned a number of times as the question of how much damage was caused by a piece of graffiti was teased out.
Defence solicitor, Frank Buttimer, described it as graffiti upon graffiti at a location he called “spray-painting central”.
Barry O’Brien of 7 Innishannon Road, Fairhill, Cork, pleaded guilty to a charge that without lawful excuse he caused damage to property, namely the walkway, arches, and walls of The Shakey Bridge — the popular name for Daly’s Bridge on the Mardyke — belonging to Cork City Council, intending such damage or being reckless as to whether the property would be damaged.
The date of the offence was March 6, 2022, and when the case was first in court an official valuation of the damage was given at €1,500.
Mr Buttimer said that while the offence was not in dispute the valuation for the criminal damage was very much.
On Monday, Sergeant Gearóid Davis said: “Cork City Council cannot come up with a cost.”
Although the defendant was seen spraying the graffiti and admitted the offence, Judge Olann Kelleher said he would dismiss the criminal damage charge in the absence of evidence of how much damage was caused.
The same defendant admitted having cannabis for his own use when he was caught at the scene. He had four similar convictions. Judge Kelleher gave him a four-month suspended sentence for cannabis possession.