Judge orders defendants in YouTube case to enter peace bond

Sixteen members of two midland Traveller families were ordered to enter a peace bond or go to prison following a hearing at Longford District Court.

Sixteen members of two midland Traveller families were ordered to enter a peace bond or go to prison following a hearing at Longford District Court.

The defendants agreed to a number of conditions, which included that they be of good behaviour and that they refrain from training for, organising or participating in any bare-knuckle fights. Members of the Joyce and Nevin family were ordered to enter a peace bond with a cash surety of €300 for a period of two years.

District Court Judge Seamus Hughes told the defendants that if they breached any aspect of the bond then they would forfeit the monies.

The defendants were before the court facing charges arising from an alleged breach of the peace contrary to common law.

Earlier in proceedings, Garda Superintendent Denis Shields claimed that the escalating nature of the exchanges suggested that somebody was going to be killed if the threats continue to be made on YouTube between the feuding Traveller families.

He made his comments during the prosecution of the 16 men charged with behaving in a threatening, abusive and insulting manner in the video messages uploaded onto YouTube.

In the course of proceedings Judge Hughes was shown video clips from 14 videos, which had been uploaded onto the website. The videos contained insults to both parties, threats of violence, repeated reference to people with mental handicaps, homophobic comments and what was described as insulting and vulgar behaviour.

Having viewed excepts from the two and a half hours of video Judge Hughes said he would expect a substantial sum to be submitted to court as a bond to prevent further conflict.

Two senior members of the families addressed the court and said that they had put their differences aside and assured the judge that relations would be cordial in the future.

Judge Hughes said that this was a deep rooted conflict, but noting the change in attitudes of the accused said he would accept a peace bond of 300 from each of the defendants. Nine of the defendants signed a peace bond at the hearing. Seven more will come before the court on March 6th when the matter will be concluded.