At last week’s sitting of Carrick-on-Shannon Circuit Court Judge John O’Hagan hit out at the number of assault cases that come before him on the northern circuit and the fact that so many of them involve alcohol.
Speaking during a case of assault in Mohill, Judge O’Hagan addressed the court saying, “I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again. Over 90% of the cases I hear on the northern circuit are assault and invariably they involve alcohol. What are the courts to do to prevent that, to ensure that you and I can walk down the street at 2 or 3am and not expect to be assaulted?”
He added “It is the usual slight at 4am, such as ‘your chip is bigger than mine’ or ‘you got more vinegar than me’.”
Judge O’Hagan added, “How did the matter arise? Over an incident at a takeaway, a row. It happens all the time, in every county I go to. Young men go out, get fired up on drink and set upon each other.”
Speaking about the reaction of those involved in such incidents when confronted by members of An Garda Siochana, he said the attitude was a case of, “This is my Mohill, this is what I want to do, you men in blue aren’t welcome.” Judge O’Hagan insisted, “You can’t do that.”