Three people have been fined €250 each for their involvement in an affray on Longford’s Main Street in May of last year.
Michael Nevin, 5 Weavers Court, Clondalkin, Dublin, and Thomas and Helen McDonagh, both of 7 Lana Aoibhinn, St Michael's Road, Longford, were charged with affray, threatening and abusive behaviour, and obstructing gardaí who were effecting arrest.
The court heard that at 10.25am on May 19, 2020, Sgt Gerry Newton was on duty at Longford court house.
“District and Circuit Court were on and gardaí were monitoring numbers due to Covid-19,” explained Sgt Enda Daly for the prosecution.
“Sgt Newton’s attention was brought up the street where two people were fighting across the street.”
“I remember this case. This case went viral and they were encouraged by Ms McDonagh, whose voice could be heard shouting ‘bite the ear off him’,” said Judge Hughes.
“I did say bite him but not bite the ear off him,” Ms McDonagh objected.
“Yes, she was shouting ‘bite him Thomas, bite him’. I remember everything about this,” said Judge Hughes, “it was in broad daylight at 10.30 in the morning. I have to commend the gardaí. They’re on the video and they broke it up very fast. They broke it up straight away.
“So has there been no further tension between them?” he asked.
“Not to my knowledge,” said Sgt Daly.
The court heard that Ms McDonagh had no previous convictions. Mr McDonagh had seven previous, including one for violent disorder in December 2013. The other convictions were road traffic offences.
Mr Nevin, meanwhile, has seven previous, including one for possession of an article in 2010 and other public order matters.
“I’m interested to complete this chapter of their lives,” said Judge Hughes.
Solicitor for Mr and Mrs McDonagh, Patrick Carty, explained that there was a history between his clients and Mr Nevin.
“Five or six years ago, they were in a boxing match and one of them came off the worst and was knocked out,” he said.
“Mr Nevin was knocked out and might have been looking for a rematch and it wasn’t forthcoming. When they met, there was a spat.”
Solicitor for Mr Nevin, Bríd Mimnagh, added that at the time of the bare knuckle boxing match, Mr Nevin had been stabbed.
“His brother-in-law stabbed me twice after the match. That was nothing to do with Thomas though,” Mr Nevin pointed out.
“Go to the fella that stabbed you, not me, that’s irrelevant to me,” Mr McDonagh interrupted.
“I was in intensive care after that and for three years I wasn’t given a rematch,” Mr Nevin continued.
“You don’t deserve it,” Mr McDonagh shot back.
“Excuse me,” Judge Hughes interrupted the exchange between the two men before asking “was there any money involved?”
“There was no money involved, it was more of a family thing,” said Mr Nevin.
Mr McDonagh interjected, “We’re not family.”
“You don’t like this fella,” Judge Hughes noted.
“I’ve nothing against him, just accept your batings,” said Mr McDonagh.
“I can accept losing but he was cheating on that day,” Mr Nevin objected.
“Cop on. Cop on Michael,” said Mr McDonagh.
Gardaí intervened, insisting that all parties remain quiet and respectful to the court.
“Listen, I won’t send ye to prison but there’ll be no lipping outside or ye will get 12 months,” said Judge Hughes.
“This was handbag stuff with women cheering on their men folk. I understand that it is part of your tradition.”
Judge Hughes concluded by fining all three parties €250 with three months to pay. Mr Nevin’s charge of impeding a garda was taken into consideration.
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