Judge refuses bail in Longford feud incident

Eleven charged with violent disorder in Longford town remanded in custody until the new year

Jessica Thompson

Reporter:

Jessica Thompson

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jessica.thompson@longfordleader.ie

Judge Seamus Hughes

Judge Seamus Hughes was told by a man last week that he had been put behind bars for 'good behaviour'

All eleven defendants connected to a violent disorder incident which occurred in Longford town the week before Christmas have been remanded in custody until the new year.

At a special sitting of Longford District Court on Friday night (December 27), Judge Seamus Hughes refused bail to a number of defendants who made applications.

As a result, a number of other defendants chose not to pursue bail applications and were remanded in custody to Harristown District Court on January 3, 2020.

"It's very important that the defendants know this: every day that they serve in prison over the Christmas period - if you are found guilty, it will all be taken into account," explained Judge Seamus Hughes.

Judge Hughes further stressed that should defendants press ahead with bail applications last Friday evening rather than consent to being remanded in custody to January 3 in Harristown, they would not be able to make a further bail application.

With that in mind, Martin Nevin (37), 15 Canal Drive, Prospect Woods, Longford, consented to remand in custody.

A further four defendants, Johnny Nevin (23), Richmond House, 12 Legion Terrace, Townspark, Longford, Martin Nevin (59), 67 Farnagh, Longford, William Nevin (32), 64 Grian Ard, Ardnacassa Avenue, Longford, Noel Cawley (28), Lavender Cottage, Farnagh Hill, Longford, and Johnny Nevin (23), Richmond House, 12 Legion Terrace, Townspark, Longford, all pursued their bail applications.

Following a lengthy hearing, which involved a viewing of CCTV footage and extensive evidence put forward by Detective Garda Sean Galvin on Friday evening, Judge Hughes said that he was not satisfied that "further spontaneous feuds will not be perpetrated in the immediate future" if bail were to be granted to any of the defendants before him in the court.

"I cannot make fish of one and flesh of the other," he said after careful consideration.

"You are all equally responsible. You all joined together in perpetrating this crime and I'm refusing bail in all incidences."

Judge Hughes then referred to a claim that mediation between the Nevin and Doyle families had already begun, saying that he would hope that such efforts would continue - "if that's true".

"It would be something of substance that the Circuit Court could consider more carefully," he said.

All five of the defendants before the court were remanded in custody until January 10 to Harristown District Court.

Following a lengthy hearing of evidence in relation to the Nevins' involvement in the feuding, a number of members of the Doyle family were also brought before Judge Hughes.

Joe Meares (27), 1 Richmond Street, Longford, Johnny Doyle (23), 5 Richmond Street, Longford, Johnny Doyle (38), 35 The Mill, Clondra, Longford, Ryan Doyle (18), 61 Annaly Park, Longford, Martin Doyle (21), Ferefad, Ardagh Road, Longford and Stephen Doyle (51), 7 Richmond Street, Longford, all had intentions to pursue bail applications on Friday evening. However, stern words from Judge Hughes made them think twice.

"I want the Doyles to consider this," said a very serious Judge Hughes.

"In the previous case of the Nevins, I refused bail after a hearing. I'm sure the same evidence is going to be presented in your case. I've already made up my mind for the other side of this dispute. I've already shown my hand."

Judge Hughes stressed again that a bail application on Friday, December 27, would mean the defendants could not apply for bail again for four months. But a remand in custody until January 3 would give them the opportunity to submit a new bail application with a different judge.

"You can take your chances and this day week you could have a different judge in Harristown and a new bail application, which you won't be able to do if you decide to pursue it now," he said.

After a short discussion with defence lawyers, each of the defendants decided that they would not press ahead with their bail applications.

"You seem to have waved a different magic wand than I could wave, Judge, because they're not making an application for bail," said solicitor Frank Gearty.

Satisfied with this decision, Judge Hughes remanded each of the defendants in custody with consent to Harristown District Court on January 3, 2020.