Longford judge distributes over €50,000 to local organisations from court poor box

Aisling Kiernan

Reporter:

Aisling Kiernan

Email:

aisling.kiernan@longfordleader.ie

Judge Seamus Hughes

Judge Seamus Hughes has handed out over €50,000 in contributions from the District Court Poor Box to local organisations.

Last week, Longford District Court Judge Seamus Hughes distributed the takings of the court’s poor box among local charities and voluntary organisations.

The lucky recipients will be notified in the coming days of the 2018 Court Poor Box grants. Meanwhile, the money in the system comes from contributions paid by people who have been prosecuted for possession of small amounts of illicit drugs such as cannabis.

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“The majority of these prosecutions arise from Garda operations carried out during two music festivals held in Co Westmeath,” a district court spokesperson added.

“A drugs conviction for possession could be a bar to obtaining a travel visa to such places as USA or Australia.

“Provided Judge Seamus Hughes is satisfied there are no previous criminal convictions, in the main, he gives an option to those prosecuted to make a contribution to the Court Poor Box and avoid a conviction.”

Meanwhile, as a result of the success of such Garda operations, the amount available each year for distribution in Co Longford and Co Westmeath has continued to increase.

Over €1.5m has been distributed locally from the court poor box since Judge Seamus Hughes was appointed presiding Judge in the District.

The 2018 Co Longford recipients from Longford District Court Poor Box includes Longford Women’s Link (LWL) €15,000; LEAP C/O Foroige Longford, €15,000; Longford Tidy Towns, €10,000; Attic Youth Café, €3,000;

Society of St Vincent De Paul, €2,000; St Christophers Services Ltd, €1,000; Annaly Park Residents Association, €1,000; Edgeworthstown District Development Association Ltd, €1,000; Longford Town Suburbs, €3,000; Killoe Newtownforbes Community Project, €1,000; Ballymahon Tidy Towns, €1,000; Co Longford Social Services (Meals on Wheels), €1,000; Killashee Tidy Towns Committee, €1,000; Scouting Ireland 1st 3rd 5th Longford, €1,500.