Suspended sentence dependent on donation to St Christopher’s Services Longford

Jessica Thompson

Reporter:

Jessica Thompson

Email:

jessica.thompson@longfordleader.ie

Suspended sentence dependent on donation to St Christopher’s Services Longford

Two men and one woman have been sentenced to two years in prison for their involvement in a violent disorder incident in Longford town in 2018, but have had that sentence adjourned to October pending receipt of donations of €1,500 from each to St Christopher’s Services.

Christy McGinley, Christina McGinley and Martin McGinley appeared in Longford Circuit Court last Monday charged with violent disorder, which occurred on May 18, 2018. Two other men and one other woman were also charged but did not submit a plea of guilt.

Addressing the court last week, Garda Shane O’Connor showed CCTV footage and explained the events of that day in 2018.

“(A member of the other party) was driving down Ballymahon Street at approximately 7.30pm and stopped at the traffic lights with his window open,” Gda O’Connor explained.

“An interaction took place between him and Martin McGinley at the passenger side of Martin’s vehicle.”

A fight started on the street, he added, and it escalated when a third vehicle arrived and Christy McGinley allegedly hit a member of the other party with a bicycle pump.

The cause of the argument was unclear, Gda O’Connor explained, with one side taking umbridge with the fact that the other did not attend the funeral of a family member who had been murdered in Northern Ireland, while on the other side, it was alleged CCTV footage was handed over to gardaí regarding an alleged criminal damage offence the previous day.

Judge Keenan Johnson noted that all three accused before the court last week had admitted their involvement in the incident.

“It would have been a source of upset to bystanders which is totally unacceptable,” he said.

Satisfied that the incident was on the lower end of the offending scale, he imposed a two year prison sentence on each of the accused but adjourned that to October 13 when all three are to furnish the court with receipt of payment to St Christopher’s.

“If I have that, I will impose a two year sentence and suspend it for five years. Payment to St Christopher’s Services will aid the Longford community at large,” Judge Johnson concluded, adjourning the case.