Two men who appeared before Longford District Court this week charged under the Public Order Act were convicted and fined following a hearing into the matter.
A third defendant - an 18-year-old youth - had the case against him dismissed under the Probation Act.
John Doyle Jr, 38 The Mill, Clondra, Co Longford; John Doyle Sr, Ferefad, Longford and Richie Doyle, 17 Ardnacassa Avenue, Longford all appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with entering a building with the intention to commiting an offence at Kilmore, Longford on November 9, 2017.
Outlining the evidence to the court, Sergeant Paddy McGirl said that on the date in question, gardaí in Longford town were on patrol when they passed a yard belonging to Longford Co Council and noticed suspicious activity within.
“There was two vehicles in the yard and when gardaí investigated the matter further, they discovered a pick-up truck and three people shoveling gravel into it,” added Sergeant McGirl.
“They did not have permission to be at the site.”
Meanwhile, John Doyle Jr told the court that both he and the other defendants had only been at the site a few minutes when the Gardaí came along.
“Sure, we never got any gravel at all,” he added.
Sergeant McGirl then pointed out to Judge Hughes that at time of the incident John Doyle sr was building a wall at his house and was going out to the council yard and “helping himself to gravel”.
Garda Karl Foley then told the court that gardaí believed that the Doyles had made a number of trips to the local authority yard and the night they were caught was “not the first time they had been there”.
In mitigation, John Quinn acting for all three defendants said that at time of the incident the road out to Tarmon was being resurfaced and there was a large amount of gravel at the site to carry out the necessary works to the nearby road.
“The Doyles took the view to take some of the gravel, and it appears they weren’t the only ones, there were plenty of other people doing it too,” Mr Quinn continued.
Judge Hughes then asked if there had been any offer of compensation made by the Doyles and he was told no there hadn’t been.
“Why are ye freeloading all the time?,” the Judge asked the Doyles.
“Ye are just freeloading on the taxpayers of this country.”
Following his deliberations on the matter Judge Hughes convicted John Doyle and John Doyle Sr and fined them €200 and €250 respectively.
Richie Doyle had his case dismissed under sec 111 of the Probation Act.