A 42-year-old man, freed under the terms of the Good Friday agreement, was one of two brothers who admitted threatening to shoot security staff at a Bundoran night club in 2009.
Ballyshannon District Court was given details of how Arty Forbes and his brother Raymond Forbes (45) were ejected from the Paris nite club in Bundoran on December 12th, 2009 after an altercation with two others inside the premises.
After they were ejected they were said to be “pretty agitated” and it was at this stage they issued the threat to door staff. Arty Forbs faced three counts and older brother Raymond, one count of threatening to kill or cause serious harm.
Initially they tried to get a taxi driver to drive them to Ballyshannon for 50 euro, but they then got another taxi driver to take them to Rossnowlagh.
In the course of the journey the taxi driver overheard a discussion of the getting of a gun and the rounding up of a posse to come back.
The driver dropped them to their destination, but on his return he came across a garda patrol car, as gardai had already been alerted to the altercation and the nature of the threats.
The taxi man told gardai the address where he had dropped them off in Rossnowlagh.
Gardai then had the location where the men were staying under surveillance until a more senior garda arrived. They believed that a weapon had been put into a car.
As gardai approached, Arty Forbes became confrontational but Raymond Forbes went back into the house and retrieved a .22 magnum anschutz rifle. He handed it over to gardai but there was no ammunition for it. It was legally held.
Defence solicitor Florence Hutchinson said people at the club didn’t take the gun threat seriously, the brothers didn’t ask the taxi to wait to bring them back to the club, and they weren’t arrested on the night.
Raymond Forbes had gone back into their house and handed over the gun voluntarily when asked about the earlier incident by gardai, she added.
She said: “It was an idle threat in a drunken outburst. It was most regrettable and they had no facility to carry it out,” a reference to gardai not finding any bullets or ammunition.
She said that the two were no longer involved in politics and were making a fresh start after growing up in Strabane.
Judge Mary Devins heard that both had previous convictions of the brothers in Northern Ireland, including a Belfast Crown Court conviction in 1990 against Arty of possession of explosives with intent to endanger life when he received 18 years but was later released under the Good Friday agreement.
Raymond Forbes had a Strabane conviction for criminal assault and possession of an offensive weapon, but none in the south.
Judge Devins observed: “In the light of the history of the defendants the threat to kill must be taken more seriously.”
She said that the first defendant, Art Forbes who now lived at Sea View, Tullaghan, Co. Leitrim, should have had more sense especially in light of his previous convictions and his release under the terms of the Good Friday agreement.
In his case she warned him that she would “adjourn the matter of sentencing for 12 months,” adding, “You could be sent to prison for two years.”
If defendant remained out of trouble in that time, she would “make certain recommendations” which his solicitor would explain. He was remanded on continuing bail to appear before Ballyshannon District Court on March 2nd, 2012.
Raymond Forbes, whose address was given as Tarmon Manor, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, was ordered to make a €500 charitable donation to the RNLI before March 18th next.