Three people who appeared at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court charged under the Public Order Act were ordered to pay €1,000 to the Garda Social Fund by the end of May, following a hearing into the matter.
Eileen Keenan (50), Martin Keenan (28) and Thomas Keenan (25) all of 10 Barry Drive, Finglas West, Dublin 11 appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with being intoxicated in a public place and committing violent disorder at Palace Crescent, Longford on August 27, 2015.
The court heard that the incident occurred after an engagement party took place in Strokestown earlier that day.
“Basically a row broke out at the engagement party and it eventually made its way to Longford,” Inspector Padraig Jones told the court.
In outlining the evidence in the case, Inspector Jones said that gardaí were called to Palace Crescent on the date in question at approximately 2:30am.
He said that up to 20 people had gathered in the area and were acting in a “disorderly manner”.
“They were aggressive and goading each other when the Gardaí arrived; a risk was posed to the Gardaí at that stage so they called for backup from Ballymahon, Granard and Castlerea,” added the Inspector.
“All this was in an effort to try and defuse the situation at Palace Crescent.”
The court went on to hear that the two male defendants in the case then began to walk around the estate bare chested and that while they didn’t actually physically attack anyone they were goading other people in the group.
“Mrs Keenan - on the other hand - was regarded as an instigator in the situation,” said Inspector Jones who then pointed out that she was “extremely drunk” at the time.
“She was goading people and raising her fists to others and at one stage she approached a man and struck him across the head with a bottle.”
The court was told that after backup arrived in the estate, there was close to 14 or 15 gardaí endeavouring to deal with matters.
The barrister representing the Keenan family said in mitigation that his clients had attended the engagement party earlier that day in Strokestown and a lot of drink had been taken.
“They drank a good few drinks at the party,” he added.
“And in fairness to them, they were never arrested - they voluntarily gave interviews to the Gardaí.”
Meanwhile, Judge Hughes asked about previous convictions and he was told that Martin Keenan had four previous convictions while the other two defendants had none.
During his deliberations on the matter, Judge Hughes said that the three defendants before him would go to prison if they didn’t come up with €1,000.
The judge said the money should go to the “ Garda Social Fund here in Longford”.
“These baloobas fuelled by drink moved from one county to another and because of their behaviour put pressure on garda resources - resources that are already under pressure.”
“I will not put up with this type of carry-on in my district,” the Judge continued.
“If you do not come up with €1,000 I am sending you all to prison.”
The defendants then indicated they would furnish the court with the money, but would need time to gather it.
Judge Hughes subsequently adjourned proceedings to allow the defendants gather the €1,000. They will appear back before Longford District Court on May 24 next.
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