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25 Jun 2022

Strict bail for man who threatened to kill neighbour with message in a bottle

A Buncrana man, who threatened to kill his neighbour, will have to sign on twice each DAY after being found in breach of bail conditions

Letterkenny court house.

Letterkenny court house.

A Buncrana man who believed a neighbour to be keeping weapons that were sending electronic waves and causing him to have headaches has been ordered to sign on at a Garda Station twice a DAY.

Alan Delve, a 40-year-old with an address at St Vincent’s Villas, Tullyarvan, Buncrana was granted bail this week, but was issued with strict conditions.

Delve was on bail following an incident on October 8, 2021 at the home of Patrick Coyle. He was charged with trespassing in such a manner to cause fear in Mr Coyle and he was also charged with criminal damage to a car belonging to Megan Coyle, Mr Coyle’s granddaughter. Delve threw a carton of milk at Mr Coyle’s house and threw two large stones, one of which hit Ms Coyle’s car.

He also faces a charge of making a threat to kill Mr Coyle on September 14, 2021. When Gardaí arrived at Pillar Park, Mr. Coyle handed them a bottle with a message inside saying: ‘terrorists this is your last warning. Stay out of my life or you will lose yours.’ Delve repeated threats against Mr Coyle during the course of an interview with Gardaí.

Delve believed that Mr. Coyle had weapons in his house that were sending waves to him and causing his head to hurt. At the time, solicitor Mr Ciaran Mac Lochlainn said his client was on a ’psychotic break’.

Delve was arrested on May 25 on foot of a warrant after being found to be in breach of bail conditions. The accused was brought to Letterkenny District Court on Monday from Castlerea Prison, where he spent the previous five days following his arrest.

Garda Ian Oates gave evidence of Delve’s breaches of bail.

On April 8, 2022, Gardai were requested to attend Abrakebabra in Buncrana. On arrival, Gardaí observed Delve with his trousers around his knees and his underpants ‘half down his backside’. Families were present on the premises at the time. Delve was easing a taco chip with his hands and was arrested for being intoxicated in a public place. Delve was searched and between €30-€40 worth of cannabis was located on his person.

On April 18, 2022, Gardai were called to the Cottage Bar in Buncrana. A staff member advised Gardai that a man was bleeding from the hand all over the floor. Gardaí followed the trail of blood, taking them to Delve’s apartment. Delve, who was said to be highly intoxicated, leaned out the window and informed Gardaí that he did not want assistance.

On May 17, Delve commented on a Facebook post linking to a report from his appearance in court.

That evening, Ms Coyle attended Buncrana Garda Station and told officers that she was concerned at Delve’s comment.

Garda Oates described Ms Coyle as ‘absolutely petrified’. Delve was in breach of bail on April 4 and April 18 as he had not remained of sober habits, while the Facebook comment was ‘indirect contact’ with the Coyle family, the Garda said.

Garda Oates said the Coyle family were ‘terrified and petrified’ and did not attend court as they ‘don’t want to be in the same room as him’.

Sergeant Jim Collins objected to bail, saying that Gardaí had ‘grave concerns’ that Delve would reoffend, noting the fear of the injured parties.

Garda Oates read extracts from Delve’s interview with Gardaí where he repeated several threats against Mr Coyle.

“I will smash his fucking face and I’ll smash his windows,” Delve said in interview.

“I promise on my life I will fucking murder that bastard across the road from me. I will smash his windows, his house and his person. I promise he will pay for this. Stupid, delusional person. Tell that old man he is a bastard and he will pay for this, mark my words.

“I promise ya, tell that old man Coyle he is a dead man, mark my words. Mark my words. That man is going to fucking die. He’s going to severely pay for this.

“Why the fuck does he get off doing this to me? Guarantee I’ll throw something a lot harder the next time.”

Mr Mac Lochlainn said his client was ‘highly intoxicated’ at the time. He asked the court to give his client ‘one last chance;. “He can attend with a psychiatrist and obtain sessions and hopefully bring some normality back into his life,” Mr Mac Lochlainn said. “If he is in breach again, he will end up back in Castlerea and there will be no further leniency.”

Delve took to the witness box and said he was ‘no danger’ to the Coyle family.

“It breaks my heart to hear that they are in fear,” Delve said. “I understand their fear and I want to get back to work and to get compensating for them.”

Delve said the incidents at Abrakebabra and the Cottage bar were as a result of being off his medication and taking alcohol.

“I will never make that mistake again,” he said. “I haven’t had a shower in six days and I am still wearing the same socks and boxer shorts.”

Delve described his five days in custody as ‘the worst of my life’. “I am afraid if I go back to custody that I will be homeless,” he said. “I feel that I was starting to progress, a slip like this could be a set back.”

Justice Paul Kelly granted bail and issued strict conditions, including that he observe a curfew from 10pm-6am and sign on twice a day at Buncrana Garda Station.

Delve is to be contactable for Gardai 24/7. He is to have no contact with any member of the Coyle family and is to stay out of Pillar Park. Delve is to remain drug and alcohol free and to attend for psychiatric assessment.

Delve is to refrain from commenting about the case or the Coyle family on any social media or electronic media platform.

Delve was remanded on bail in a bond of €400, which was provided to the court by his mother. He is to appear before the June 9 sitting of Buncrana District Court.

“You need to be very careful,” Justice Kelly warned Delve.

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