Longford Man tells of long running family feud

Longford man says he can't sleep at night

Longford Leader

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Road accident case comes to abrupt end in court

A man whose family are embroiled in a long running internal feud has appealed for calm after his house was targeted by rival factions.

Willie McDonnell, 34 College Park, Longford issued the plea at a sitting of Longford District Court last week.

The 44-year-old appeared on two counts of allegedly breaching public order at Spring Lawn on January 30 2018.

When Mr McDonnell’s name was initially called, his solicitor John Quinn took to his feet to indicate his client would not be in attendance after being the victim of a recent assault.

“He (Mr McDonnell) is in for a neurological examination and brain scan this morning,” said Mr Quinn, revealing the alleged assault had taken place five days previously.

Soon after Judge Seamus Hughes adjourned the case until yesterday’s (Tuesday) court sitting, Mr McDonnell walked into the court.

Sporting a grey tracksuit hoodie and bottoms, Judge Hughes immediately observed Mr McDonnell’s pale complexion and frail disposition.

“You look dreadful,” he told Mr McDonnell.

“Are you eating?”

“Not a whole lot, no,” was the short, brief riposte from the accused.

As he conceded his appetite wouldn’t be overly salubrious, Mr McDonnell said he was also struggling to sleep following a recent attack on his home.

“My house was smashed up and I am staying awake at night,” he told the judge.

In what was an open and frank exchange between the pair, Mr McDonnell told Judge Hughes that the incident was part of a broader rivalry with members of his own extended family.

“I hope we can move forward now,” he said.

“It’s (dispute) going on too long.

“The feud is going on about five years between us (McDonnells) and the Doyles. We are all the one family.”

In an effort to probe Mr McDonnell further, Judge Hughes asked if he thought there was any danger that someone could lose their life over the friction that existed between both groups.

“I wouldn’t say anyone will get killed, but it’s the kids that are getting hurt,” he said.

“The kids can’t go to school because they are meeting up.”

In light of those admissions, Judge Hughes asked Inspector Bláithín Moran if the State wished to impart any conditions on Mr McDonnell’s bail terms.

She said she did and asked for Mr McDonnell to refrain from having any contact with members of the Doyle family.

A curfew from 9pm to 7am was also applied for.

Judge Hughes sanctioned both requests and remanded Mr McDonnell on continuing bail.

He was scheduled to reappear again at yesterday’s (Tuesday) District Court sitting in Longford.