‘Legal staff feared for their safety at Ennis Courthouse’

Ennis Courthouse

THREE members of the same family charged over a row that occurred in the grounds of Ennis Courthouse earlier this year will be sentenced next month.
Adjourning sentence at Ennis District Court last week, Judge Patrick Durcan said, “It’s just the gross lack of regard for law and order is what troubles me.”
His comments came as a solicitor admitted there were times this year when legal practitioners feared for their safety due to a spate of disturbances.
Details of a public order incident were heard at Ennis District Court on Wednesday where Michael Molloy (19) and sisters Laura Molloy (22) and Rose Mahon (23), all with addresses at Bay 2 Ballaghboy Halting Site, Quin Road, Ennis pleaded guilty to engaging in threatening and / or abusive behaviour with intent to provoke a breach of the peace at Ennis Courthouse on June 19.
Laura Molloy and Rose Mahon also pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the directions of garda.
Inspector Michael Gallagher told the court the altercation developed when two groups of people met in the grounds of the Courthouse on a day of scheduled sitting of Ennis District Court.
Defence solicitor Daragh Hassett said Michael Molloy was pursued into the courtroom by a woman who “read him chapter and verse.”
The court heard Laura Molloy then received a phone call from the woman who told her she wished to make peace. A large number of people then gathered outside the Courthouse where a dispute developed.
“Not only was there no peace talks but war had been embarked upon” explained Mr Hassett.
Mr Hassett said there had been a period in the first half of the year when the Courthouse had been the venue for a number of rows and disturbances. However he told Judge Durcan there had been a significant improvement in recent months.
“There was a period in here, two months, where you would fear for your safety,” he added. Mr Hassett said his clients wished to apologise profusely to the gardaí and court. Judge Durcan said it is important that people can come into the court and not observe “wild west lawlessness”.
He said it was his job to ensure respect is maintained and given.
He said this was a most serious offence and he required time to consider sentence. The case was adjourned to November 6.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.