Longford man escapes having bail revoked despite breaching curfew

News reporter


News reporter



Longford Courthouse.

Longford Courthouse

A Longford man charged with having a stanley knife, a pen knife, two hockey sticks, a walking stick, a black stick and three wheel braces in his car has had his case adjourned to February 11, 2020.

The items were found in the car on November 3 when Gardaí were conducting an armed checkpoint. Gardaí observed a vehicle making an illegal U-turn back from the checkpoint.

Gardaí stopped the vehicle and searched it, producing the offending items.

By way of explanation, defending solicitor Frank Gearty said that Mr Doyle had the hockey sticks to play with his dogs.

“As you would. When you have a dog, you always have a hockey stick,” said a sarcastic Judge Hughes.

“The stanley knife belongs to his mother who makes curtains. The sticks are his dad’s and the wheel braces had been purchased by his dad,” said Mr Gearty.

“What do you need a stanley knife for when you’re making curtains? I think most people would have a sewing machine, right? So that’s the end of that,” said Judge Hughes.

Sgt Paddy McGirl, on behalf of the state, also had an application to re-enter a charge sheet for Mr Doyle following a special sitting in Longford District Court on Friday, November 8.

“It’s a section 3 assault. On that date, there were a number of bail conditions imposed. They were strict conditions and they were outlined to the accused. It was put extremely clearly to the accused,” said Sgt McGirl.

“One of those conditions was to retain a curfew between 11pm and 7am. Following on from court, at 1.10am on the 9th, which was only a number of hours later, Mr Doyle was stopped by Gardaí in Longford in the company of another family. That was in clear breach of his bail only a number of hours later.”

Sgt McGirl added that he was looking to remand Mr Doyle in custody following the breach of his bail conditions, but Mr Gearty spoke up with what he said was “a pertinent defence”.

“The court took place at 10 o’clock. It was a difficult court because there were other matters. The court did not finish until ten to eleven,” he explained.

“The curfew started at 11pm. Mr Doyle lives out in Ferafad. I venture to say, Judge, that he may have thought the curfew would click in as soon as it was capable of being complied with.

"It would have been difficult for him, possibly, to get home from a court that ended at ten to eleven to be there at 11pm that night. My understanding is that he has complied with the curfew and strict conditions of bail since this detection.

“The detection made by the gardaí occurred on the way out to Ferafad, so at least he was going in the right direction, albeit late. My understanding is he was detained in the Garda station all day. He had no lift home.”

Judge Hughes acknowledged this explanation and said that he would not revoke bail on this occasion.

“But it just shows you how serious that guards are about this,” he said to Mr Doyle.

The case has been adjourned to Longford District Court on February 11, 2020.