Judge Seamus Hughes
Judge Seamus Hughes has once again spoken out on the level of feuding that has been taking place in Longford over the past twelve months.
Following a lengthy hearing, which saw him refuse bail to five of the eleven defendants who appeared before him last Friday evening, Judge Hughes expressed his concern for the town’s reputation.
“There’s a presumption of innocence in granting bail toward a person’s charge. Over the last 12 months, there have been various feuds in Longford. This town has received publicity nationally. It was described in one newscast as ‘a ring of steel’ clasped around Longford - a reputation that no rural town deserves or wants,” he said.
“This bench has announced on several occasions that it won’t tolerate this type of conduct, which is feud related.
“This incident was a spontaneous, organised gang of two mobs who decided to meet up on Main Street - a location of high footfall.
“Old age pensioners were collecting their social welfare. People were posting their Christmas cards. Mothers with babes in arms were going around, contemplating their Christmas shopping. I could go on and on.
“This is a very special time of the year - the gathering of families. However, this court does not show sentimentality or emotion at this time.
“I’ve considered all of the evidence very carefully - both the prosecution and defence. I’m not satisfied that further spontaneous feuds will not be perpetrated in the immediate future if any one of you receives bail,” he concluded, refusing bail to the four men who applied for it.