TWO Achill men involved in a long dispute have themselves requested to be bound to the peace for a further 12 months.
Adrian McDonnell of Ballinock, Keel, and Fergal Gallagher of Verona House, Dooagh, have been bound to the peace since 2013 after they were convicted of assaulting each other after an incident in a quarry in Bunnacurry, Achill, on October 12, 2012.
The case came before last week’s sitting of Achill District Court for review, and Judge Mary Devins was due to finalise the matter, but both men asked her to continue the order. They both stated that peace has been in place as a result of the order and that they were happy for it to continue.
The matter came before the court in July, when Mr Gallagher claimed he was involved in an ‘unpleasant’ incident with Mr McDonnell in May that is under garda investigation. Garda Martin O’Reilly explained that the matter was investigated and a file was sent to the Superintendent’s office but no action was directed.
Mr Gallagher, who was representing himself, said he had a personal problem with Garda O’Reilly and accused him of favouritism for the other side. He claimed there had been an incident outside Dookinella Church and that he worried ‘day and night’ that his property would be damaged. He said that without the court order he would be dead, and he begged Judge Devins to keep it before the court.
Mr Bob McArdle, solicitor for Mr McDonnell, said his client also was happy to keep the order in place, saying it had made his life easier as a result. Mr McArdle said the incident involving Mr Gallagher related to the service of civil court papers and that he was prepared to be served with the papers personally or have them sent to his office.
Inspector Gary Walsh disputed Mr Gallagher’s claim that matters reported to the Gardaí were not thoroughly or properly investigated. Garda O’Reilly also refuted any suggestion that he shows favouritism in the case.
Judge Devins said that while she does not normally ‘babysit’, she was conscious that this is an island community in which passions run deep, and she said did not want the situation to escalate. She agreed to continue to bind the two men to the peace for a further 12 months.