Longford man says witchcraft led him to smash windows

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A Longford man has told of how fears over witchcraft led him to break the windows of a neighbour’s house in Kenagh earlier this year.

Patrick O'Leary, 37 Clough Dillons, Kenagh pleaded guilty at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court to damaging four windows at 34 Clough Dillons, Kenagh, Co Longford on January 16, 2019.

Sgt Paddy McGirl said gardaí had been alerted to the incident at around 7:30am when, upon their arrival, found four double-glazed windows at the property smashed in.

The alleged victim in the case, he said, observed Mr O'Leary then leaving the scene in a car.

Sgt McGirl said the total damage caused amounted to €400.

In appearing for the defence, solicitor Frank Gearty said there was some considerable history to the case, with Mr O’Leary's partner also believing black magic may be going on just yards from their door.

“She believed there was a doll being used by people next door,” he told Judge Seamus Hughes.

Mr O’Leary, who stood quietly with his hands clasped in front of him for most of the hearing, soon explained how he believed up to seven houses close by were engaging in the alleged use of supernatural powers.

“There are seven houses there and they are all doing witchcraft,” he said. Mr Gearty conceded there was a certain “element of delusion” about the case with Mr O'Leary’s GP having referred the 69-year-old for psychiatric assessment.

Mr Gearty added his client and his partner had been together for 26 years and had a grown-up family between them.

Judge Hughes asked Mr O'Leary what he thought the people he suspected of carrying out witchcraft had done to harm him.

Mr O’Leary replied by saying on one occasion his ribs had allegedly been damaged in the middle of the night by those involved.

“I went to bed and got up in the morning and was in all this pain,” he said.

He added that his photograph had also allegedly been taken while outside his front door.

Mr O'Leary, who is a diabetic, added his wife was not in court and had spent the past four days in St Loman's Hospital.

Judge Hughes said he would not be casting judgement on the matter straight away, instead saying it represented a “perfect case” for the probation services.

He also advised against Mr O'Leary having any contact with his neighbours and adjourned affairs until a sitting of Longford District Court on June 11 next.

“That’s all that can be said about this weird case,” he concluded.