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28 Jun 2022

Two Longford men who fought in street ‘terrified of going to jail’

Two Longford men who fought in street ‘terrified of going to jail’

Two men who appeared before Longford District Court last week charged with public order offences have been ordered to pay €300 each to go towards the Garda Social Fund.

Michael Dempsey, 79 MacEoin Park, Longford, and Johnny Doyle, 82, Ardnacassa Avenue, Longford, were chargd with involvement in a public disturbance on January 11, 2020.

On that night, Gardaí received a call at 12.25am reporting a disturbance between a number of young people in Oakvale.

Mr Dempsey, the court heard, had taken his top off and was shouting abuse. He continued fighting in the street, was in an intoxicated state and subsequently arrested by gardaí.

Mr Doyle was also involved in a physical fight, the court heard, and failed to leave the area when asked to do so by gardaí. He was also arrested.

The court heard that Mr Dempsey had 12 previous convictions, four of which were for public order and the most recent of which was in November 2019 when he was convicted and given 100 hours of community service.

Sgt Enda Daly, for the state, explained that Mr Doyle had nine previous convictions, all of which were for public order and the most recent of which was in September 2019 when he received a two month suspended sentence.

“This is a serious matter,” said Judge Seamus Hughes.

Solicitor for the defence, Frank Gearty, explained that the two men were good friends but they got into an argument.

“Both of you are on suspended sentences or community service and you refused to comply with gardaí,” said Judge Hughes.

“One of you has already picked up four previous for public order and the other nine previous. I can only imagine what reputation you have in the eyes of the people of Longford - especially at night.”

Mr Gearty explained that the men are “terrified of going to prison”.

“They’ve been thinking about it ever since and they have a fear of that,” he explained.

Judge Hughes decided to adjourn the case to April 13 to allow the men to come up with €300 each “to show how much the like and respect the gardaí”. The money will go to the garda social fund.

“After that, I might be persuaded to give a suspended sentence.”

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