Pair who traded blows in Longford town feud brawl lucky to not be facing more serious charges, says judge

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Judge Seamus Hughes

Judge Seamus Hughes told two men who exchanged blows on the main street of Longford town that they were fortunate to not be facing more serious charges

Two men who became embroiled in a feud related row on Longford's main street last year have been told they were lucky not charged with more than just public order.

 

Judge Seamus Hughes said he was puzzled as to why Shane McDonnell (23), 34 College Park, Longford and Bernard McDonagh (29), Farneyhoogan, Longford were charged with engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour after the pair exhanged blows while armed with weapons on July 24 2019.

Sgt Mark Mahon, for the State, said gardaí were alerted to a disturbance shortly after 1:20pm outside Longford Post Office.
As the row ensued, it continued on towards the outside of The Longford Arms Hotel, the court heard.

Gardaí, Sgt Mahon said, stopped a white Transit van a short time later and spoke to Mr McDonagh's wife.

He said Ms McDonagh told officers that her husband had been set upon by Mr McDonnell, together with a younger brother and sister.

Sgt Mahon said CCTV footage taken from close to the scene appeared to show Mr McDonnell as the "main aggressor" despite Mr McDonagh being seen swinging a bat at his co accused in the melee.

Judge Hughes, upon hearing the evidence given, asked why both parties were not before the court on more serious charges.

"They are just lucky they are not charged with violent disorder or affray," Judge Hughes commented.

Defence solicitor John Quinn, acting for Mr McDonnell, said his client accepted his culpability but insisted a large degree of it had been influenced by the actions of Mr McDonagh.

"Shane went in (to the post office) to say to him to come out for a fair fight but Berney came out and had a weapon," said Mr Quinn

This was disputed by Mr McDonagh's solicitor Bríd Mimnagh who claimed Mr McDonnell was armed with a knife.

Judge Seamus Hughes fined both men €250 for the Section 6 public order charge, giving them three months to pay.