Judge Seamus Hughes was told by a woman summonsed to court last week that the airing of an assault case could cause "bigger problems" for her and her family.
A woman summonsed to court to give evidence over an alleged assault linked to a feud involving two Longford families, has warned “bigger problems” may arise if the case is fully aired in court.
Ann Marie Doyle spoke of her fear at what may come of having to testify against Willie McDonnell, of 34 College Park, Longford over an alleged Section 2 assault at 17 Ardnacassa Avenue, Longford on January 29 2018.
She, together with Richie Doyle Snr, Richie Doyle Jnr and Naomi Nevin (nee Doyle) had been summonsed by Mr McDonnell’s legal team to give evidence over the alleged incident at last week’s District Court sitting.
When the four failed to appear, bench warrants were issued for their arrests by Judge Seamus Hughes.
After lunch, however, Ms Doyle accompanied by Ms Nevin appeared and immediately told of their reservations over being asked to give evidence.
“For a start, the two Richies weren’t there (at time of assault),” she said.
“We are trying to live a peaceful life. It’s two families (that are involved) and we don’t want to be part of it.”
Judge Hughes said while he appreciated Ms Doyle’s misgivings, the court had a job to do in terms of the execution of justice.
“It’s a process and because you have been summonsed by the defence, you have to come ot court,” he told her.
“All of you come for a few minutes on July 23 and we will deal with it that day.”
Ms Doyle, though, said due to the close familial ties between both sides involved in the alleged incident, the case may well throw up greater issues.
“It will cause bigger problems,” she said.
Judge Hughes attempted to placate Ms Doyle’s concerns by stressing nothing untoward would happen when the case was given a full hearing.
“I think you should go to a solicitor for independent advice,” he said.
“There will also be extra security in court that day.”
In accepting those assurances, Ms Doyle said it was not inside, but rather outside of court that most concerned her.
“In here it might be different, but it’s when we are at home that the feuding will start again.
“We don’t want trouble,” she said.
Appearing to grow somewhat agitated at the length the matter was taking, Judge Hughes said: “You are going to cause me trouble if you don’t come,”
Ms Doyle, in response was just as forthright, adding: “You are causing us trouble by bringing us here.”
Judge Hughes vacated the two warrants imposed on Ms Doyle and Ms Nevin, but left the other pair of warrants in place on Richie Doyle Snr and Jnr.
The case is due to return at Longford District Court on July 23 2019.