A Longford mother of four has said she would rather go to jail than pay any compensation money to a woman she dragged back by the hair along the county town’s Main Street last year.
Claire Hishon (31), 5 O’Connor Park, Longford, delivered the ultimatum at a sitting of Longford District Court last week after she appeared charged with assaulting Gemma Kirwan at Main Street, Longford town on November 18 2020.
“I am not giving any more money to her,” she told Judge Hughes after Ms Hishon’s defence solicitor Frank Gearty said the row revolved around €150 which had been given to Ms Kirwan and not repaid.
The latter had earlier given evidence to say she had been accosted by Ms Hishon as she exited Longford Post Office.
“She (Ms Hishon) attacked me as I was coming out,” she said.
“She said I owed her money.”
Ms Kirwan indicated she had borrowed €500 from Ms Hishon’s partner and had paid back €700 “and something” in return.
Under direct questioning from Judge Hughes, Ms Kirwan was asked if she was aware that the man in question was a moneylender.
“Yeah,” came the reply as she was asked further questions about her ordeal.
“She (Ms Hishon) just grabbed me and said ‘I want my money now.’ I couldn’t say anything because of the way she had me.”
Ms Kirwan also revealed the entire episode played out in front of her own children who looked on in horror.
“My kids were roaring and crying in front of her, telling her to stop and let me go,” added Ms Kirwan.
Judge Hughes, in his deliberations, examined photographs of Ms Kirwan’s alleged injuries which included an apparent injury to her thumb.
“That’s a nasty bite,” he said, noting how a medical report also contained injuries which cited how Ms Kirwan had similarly sustained pain to her lower back.
Mr Gearty said Ms Hishon’s version of events were somewhat different and dismissed any notions that she was involved in any underhanded moneylending activity.
“She says it was over €150 she lent her (Ms Kirwan) that she never got back.
“She says she knows nothing of the money (“€700 and something”) she is referring to,” he contended.
Ms Hishon attempted to shed further light on what led up to the row, claiming an appeal for the loan of money was made firstly by her own sister in law on the phone.
After initially refusing, Ms Hishon said she then spoke to Ms Kirwan who said she needed money as her child’s communion was coming up.
She added no attempt was made to reimburse her since and after being told to meet her at the post office, allegedly found Ms Kirwan “sniggering and smiling” as she exited the building.
She also denied suggestions her partner actively lent money, adding she was willing to make a payment to charity but not to Ms Kirwan.
Judge Hughes, however warned her some form of recompense would have to be made to her victim or a custodial sentence would result, the maximum term for which carried a 12 month spell behind bars.
Ms Hishon remained adamant nonetheless, insisting she would prefer to spend a period incarcerated than hand over money to Ms Kirwan.
“If I have to go to prison today, I will,” she told Judge Hughes.
“If you want to put me into jail, put me into jail. I will give her no more money.”
Ms Hishon was remanded on bail with the case set to reappear next week (May 11).
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