Row breaks out during court sitting

An ongoing feud between parties in the Granard/Edgeworthstown area spilled out at Longford Courthouse last week where a number of people came to blows.

An ongoing feud between parties in the Granard/Edgeworthstown area spilled out at Longford Courthouse last week where a number of people came to blows.

Such was the extent of the disturbance, Judge Seamus Hughes was forced to adjourn district court proceedings so that gardaí could investigate the matter. Superintendent Denis Shields confirmed to the Leader on Friday that criminal proceedings would now be taken against a number of people who became involved in last Tuesday’s (Sept 6) disturbance.

“The matter was part of an ongoing feud and at this stage we are certain that criminal proceedings will be taken against a number of people who were involved,” the superintendent explained.

As the dispute began to unfold, members of the public standing at the back of the courtroom, dashed out to where the altercation was taking place. Judge Hughes subsequently held two people in contempt of court for “dashing out”, however, they were released from custody later that day.

“At least 30 people made a dash out to see what was going on,” the judge said. “There was only two gardaí to deal with the matter and that is not the fault of the superintendent; that is the State’s fault for not providing enough resources. Those people who dashed out are in serious danger of being held in contempt of court.”

Superintendent Shields told the court that “a number of assaults had taken place on the stairwell of the courthouse” during the course of the dispute and that those involved “were known to the gardaí”.

“It is absolutely disgraceful that a dispute like this should arise in a courthouse and only two gardaí to deal with it,” Judge Hughes concluded.