Longford District Court: Fined €400 for public order charge

Man arrested after disturbance in Longford town

Longford District Court: Fined €400 for public order charge

A man who became embroiled in an altercation in Longford town last month has been convicted and fined €400 as a result of the incident.

Stephen Croghan, 127 MacEoin Park, Longford was charged with engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour at Ballymahon Street, Longford on February 14, 2016.

He was also charged with being intoxicated in a public place on the same date.

Defence solicitor John Quinn said his client would be pleading guilty to both the Section 4 and 6 public order charges.

Superintendent Fergus Treanor, meanwhile, outlined to the court the events which led up to Mr Croghan’s arrest .

Supt Treanor said gardaí were called to a disturbance in the Ballymahon Street area shortly after 3:30am.

He said when officers arrived they noticed a number of people at the scene.

Mr Croghan, Supt Treanor said, became “very aggressive” and was “very intoxicated” during the incident.

This, he said, continued after Mr Croghan's arrest.

It was also revealed Mr Croghan had four previous convictions, mostly for road traffic matters.

“You had plenty of money for drink that night,” commented Judge Hughes, prompting Mr Croghan to reply: “Not really, no Judge.”

“Well you had that night,” interjected Judge Hughes as he quizzed Mr Croghan about why he had not paid his solicitor his legal bill.

“Why don’t you pay Mr Quinn his legal fee?” he asked.

The judge also asked Mr Croghan why he had suggested to arresting officer, Garda Egan that both the “guards and the judge are on the take”.

Mr Croghan said all he remembered asking was what time he was arrested at and did not recall making the remark referred to by Judge Hughes.

Judge Hughes said: “It’s a thought process you have that you believe the guards and judge are on the take.

“Would you like to clarify that?”

Mr Croghan spoke of withdrawing the remark, which Judge Hughes appeared to accept, with some sarcasm.

“I detect your sincerity is overwhelming,” he replied.

Mr Quinn added that his client had in fact attempted to act as a peacemaker by breaking up a disturbance between a couple.

“Unfortunately, he (Mr Croghan) ended up being the victim because he got beaten up on the street and the Gardaí came at the end.”

Mr Quinn continued, adding his client “shouldn’t have got involved” despite his best efforts to calm the situation down.

Judge Hughes consequently handed down a €400 fine for the Section 6 public order charge while striking out its accompanying Section 4 charge.

A further Section 8 charge of failing to comply with the directions of a garda by leaving the vicinity of the scene was withdrawn.