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21 Jan 2022

Man who forced six gardaí into isolation to reappear at Longford District Court

Man who forced six gardaí into  isolation to reappear at Longford District Court

A man who tested positive for Covid-19, forcing six gardaí to go into isolation for 14 days has been given a set of strict bail conditions and is due to reappear at Longford District Court on February 16 for DPP directions.

Hughie Nevin, with an address at 7 St Micheal’s Road, Longford, was arrested on December 19 and charged with the assault of a female.

Mr Nevin insisted that, while he did test positive for Covid-19, he wasn’t symptomatic and said he quarantined as soon as he found out he was positive.

“The only reason I got tested was my brother-in-law tested positive a few days before that,” he said.

“They weren’t even going to test me. They told me that I wasn’t a close contact and it was only because I’d played a football match four or five days before that with him.”

He insisted that he wasn’t aware when he left the house that night that he had tested positive, but he had received a Covid test in the days prior to leaving his house.

“Gardaí would dispute that,” said prosecuting Sergeant Enda Daly, “it may be that there was information that he knew and was aware that he was Covid positive.”

Mr Nevin had been out drinking in some of the local pubs, which had been open for a period of time before Christmas.

Solicitor for the defence, Bríd Mimnagh explained that her client and his wife share a mobile phone between them and that it had gone dead, so when the text came through, he didn’t get it.

Sgt Daly, however, revealed to the court that the text had come through on December 17 - two days before the alleged assault and subsequent arrest.

“The text message was sent by the HSE on the 17th of December. We have a screenshot of it,” he said.

“The HSE confirmed the text message was sent on the 17th of December. That’s two days prior.”

A week earlier, Mr Nevin’s case was called at Longford District Court but he was not present, so it was adjourned to last week.
Sgt Mark Mahon explained to the court that six gardaí had to go into isolation as a result of coming into contact with Mr Nevin, whom he said ‘blatantly flaunted’ the fact that he was Covid positive around the town.

“He was arrested for the assault of a female and as a result of his actions ,a large number of the force at Longford Garda Station had to self-isolate for 14 days, putting extreme financial pressure on the Department of Justice,” said Sgt Mahon, who added that a bill of €1,800 was charged for the deep clean of the station after the incident.

Judge Hughes, having heard the evidence, noted that Mr Nevin was “only charged with the assault of a female” and that he had done his 14 days of quarantine.

“But Covid regulations apply to all of us,” he added, fixing bail with a number of conditions imposed by gardaí including a curfew from 10pm to 6am, a requirement to sign on at Longford Garda Station on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, to provide a mobile phone number and to comply with Covid-19 regulations.

Mr Nevin is due to reappear before Longford District Cort on February 16 for DPP directions.

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