District Court

Judge not impressed with actions of the County Council

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Caused criminal damage during Dundalk burglary

Court

Judge Kevin Kilrane said he was “not too impressed” with the actions of Leitrim County Council when he was told that a caravan had been taken from two brothers thus depriving them of somewhere to live.

Appearing before Carrick-on-Shannon District Court last Friday were brothers Bernard and Thomas McDonagh, no fixed abode, Carrick-on-Shannon.

The men were each charged with being intoxicated in public on June 14 last at Drumsna, Co Leitrim and June 17 last at Main St, Carrick-on- Shannon, Co Leitrim.

Thomas McDonagh was further charged with being intoxicated in public on June 25 last at Bridge St, Carrick-on-Shannon.

Thomas McDonagh said he didn't know why he was arrested.
Sgt Gallagher said the Gardai responded to a call at 4.45pm and had no option but to arrest him for his own safety.

Judge Kilrane said Thomas McDonagh and two others were residing in the Carrick-on-Shannon area at Annaduff.

He said they moved from a perfectly good house in Kiltyclogher because they said that in the space of a month they saw only one sheep and one person and were bored.

He said they bought a caravan and were set up on the slip road near Masonite.

Judge Kilrane said that during the winter they were living in appalling conditions with no heat or light and it was like something from 50 years ago in Ireland.

Gerry McGovern, solicitor representing Thomas McDonagh, said his client has a problem with drink.

Mr McDonagh told the judge he was going to pack it in, he'd no other choice.

He said in court that Leitrim County Council had taken away the caravan and they were homeless now. He said he stayed the night in his father's place but could not stay there as there was no space.

Judge Kilrane said he was a bit concerned with the County Council moving the caravan. He said the men didn't appear to be harming anyone or obstructing anyone and he would have thought that no evictions could take place during the Covid-19 restrictions.

“I'm not too impressed with the actions of the County Council by depriving them of somewhere to live until there was something better,” he said.

Bernard McDonagh told the court, “we are destitute now, we have nowhere to live” and he asked for the court's help in getting them a solicitor to deal with Leitrim County Council on their behalf.

Judge Kilrane said he didn't have the authority to assign a solicitor to them and advised them to go through the legal aid system or engage a private solicitor.

Mr McGovern told the judge he will point the men in the right direction.

The defendants were convicted and fined €50 each in respect of each charge and give three months to pay.