Longford District Court: Man convicted after row at public meeting

Community Service instead of jail term

Longford Leader

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Six months in prison for Leitrim man who stole from a church

A man who appeared at Longford District Court last week charged in connection with an incident at a public meeting on St Michael’s Road was given community service in lieu of a prison sentence following a hearing into the matter.

Anthony McCrann, 41 St Michael’s Road, Longford appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with being intoxicated in a public place at St Michael’s Road, Longford on July 31, 2017.

He was also further charged with engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting words or behaviour on the same date.

Outlining the evidence to the court, Garda Michael Belton said that on the date in question local gardaí were holding a public meeting in the area when the defendant and another man appeared at the venue in an intoxicated state.

“It was a Neighbourhood Watch meeting and Mr McCrann and another man entered the meeting at the end,” the Garda added.
“Mr McCrann was intoxicated and unsteady on his feet.”

Garda Belton went on to say that the defendant and the other man were abusive towards people around them.

“The pair were argumentative and abusive towards people who were attending the meeting,” he continued, before pointing out that he asked them to leave.

“In fairness to them, they did leave the house where the meeting was taking place, but they walked out onto the street and starting hurling abuse at me.

“Once again I ordered them to leave the area and eventually they went.”

The defendant’s solicitor John Quinn then pointed out to the court that his client had been less abusive to the Gardaí than the co-accused was.

“Mr McCrann would say that he went to the meeting because his friend had an issue with parking in the area and he wanted to discuss that,” Mr Quinn continued.

“He says that he did not abuse Garda Belton in any way and went home when he was asked to.”

Garda Belton then told the court that the issue the pair had at the meeting was about dogs barking……….not, cars parking!

Addressing the Judge directly then, the defendant said he went to the Neighbourhood Watch meeting with a friend of his who was fed up with vans parking outside his house.

“He wanted to discuss that issue at the meeting; when I walked in, Garda Belton asked me to leave and I did,” Mr McCrann continued.

“I admit I had a few jars on me - we had six cans before the meeting.”

Judge Hughes then pointed out to the defendant that he had consumed essentially six pints before the meeting.

“Are you sure, Mr McCrann that you weren’t a bit tipsy at the least?

“You did have six pints after all.”

The defendant subsequently clarified to Judge Hughes that he and his friend drank six cans between them - three each.

“I never saw Garda Belton outside, Judge,” Mr McCrann continued.

“He asked me to leave the meeting and I did.”

Meanwhile Judge Hughes told Mr McCrann that he had an answer for everything.

The court then heard that the defendant had 25 previous convictions, 15 of which were for public order offences.

Following his deliberations on the matter Judge Hughes said he would provide the defendant with the option to carry out community service, rather than send him to prison. The case was adjourned until October 10 to allow the Probation Services time to consider the matter.