Longford judge tells 'Instagram star' he and family face jail if feud escalates

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Judge Seamus Hughes

Judge Seamus Hughes told a man he labelled an 'Instagram star' that he and three members of his family face jail if an internal feud between them escalates

A judge last week granted bail to an 'Instagram star' and three members of his family who are currently at the centre of an internal feud.

 

Sixty-seven -year-old John Joe Joyce, together with John Joe Joyce (20), Brian Joyce (20) and Joe Joyce (18), all of Farragh, Moate, Co Westmeath, were brought before last week's sitting of Longford District Court charged with affray following a series of incidents at Farragh, Moate, Co Westmeath the previous day.

The court heard gardaí had been called to the aforementioned address on no fewer than five occasions over the course o f the day.

The Armed Support Unit (ASU) ended up having to remain stationed in the area as a consequence in a bid to ensure order was maintained.

“It's a feud that's going on between themselves,” said a garda when asked by Judge Hughes to address the court as to the reasons behind the charges.

“We had to get the ASU to stay put in Moate because of the feud.

“One of the defendants was extremely abusive to me yesterday and wasn't listening to any direction.”

Judge Hughes was told that over the course of the five call outs to Moate last Monday week, up to ten gardaí were in attendance at any one time.

As the most senior of the defendants was ushered into court, Judge Hughes immediately noticed how he had spotted Mr Joyce's face from various social media channels.

“I watch Facebook,” he told Mr Joyce, informing him he was “an Instagram star”.

Judge Hughes continued by telling Mr Joyce: “Many a laugh you have given me.”

Mr Joyce, for his part, said he was doing his level best to “keep the peace” between members of his own immediate family.

Sgt Mark Mahon, for the prosecution, said there was no objection to bail with directions not available at present from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Sgt Mahon added the State would nontheless be seeking some form of curfew being imposed on those before the courts.

Upon signing off on a 9pm to 9am curfew, Judge Hughes issued a stern warning to the quartet should any further incidents emerge between now and the next time all four are due back in court.

“If any of these people are found in trouble again, I am here five days a week for the forseeable future,” he said.

“If there is any more trouble amongst them I will put them immediately into prison even if it is for a Section 6 Public Order charge.

Turning to address the four accused directly, he told them: “You are getting bail today, but you won't be getting it again.

“If you carry on like you have you will stay in prison for as long as I am serving on this bench.”