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Bonnie and Clyde and life on Mars


Edwin McGreal

Just because you are getting married does not mean you have to leave your mother’s bosom.
And for one Ballinrobe man, it will be illegal for him to do so for the first few weeks of his marriage.
There is usually an eclectic mix of cases in District Number 3 before Judge Mary Devins and last Wednesday’s sitting of Castlebar District Court proved no exception.
The Ballinrobe man was in court after being served with a bench warrant for failing to appear at a previous sitting.
Present and correct, Judge Devins initially suggested adjourning it to early March. Solicitor Cathy McDarby raised a valid problem. Her client is getting married today (Tuesday) and will be on honeymoon in Spain.
She said the reason he absconded for the last court was he met his now wife-to-be and they ran away together.
“Ah, Bonnie and Clyde,” quipped Judge Devins.
“Indeed, although I’m not sure which of them my client is,” replied Ms McDarby.
One of the conditions of the bail to the groom-to-be was about to receive was that he stay at the same address – his mother’s. Aside from the honeymoon, of course.  
Judge Devins wondered how newlyweds would take to such an arrangement.
Ms McDarby said all sides had agreed and were happy to do so. Maybe getting them to leave, and not to stay, will be the hard part.
One man had no delay in leaving court early doors on Wednesday.
We knew it wasn’t going to end well for the defendant who burst in the door of Castlebar District Court at 10.30am.
Munching on the end of his breakfast, he was washing it down with a coffee. He sat down to savour the coffee but not for long.
Judge Mary Devins’ eyes were elsewhere initially but it did not take her long to spot the errant drinker.
“Excuse me for a moment,” she told a solicitor she was in the middle of talking to. “This is not a restaurant or a café. If you want to drink your coffee, you can do so somewhere else,” she said.
“Oh sorry, sorry Judge,” he replied, nearly tripping himself up as he tried to get out of the courtroom.
Civil matters were dealt with first before criminal business began.
Experienced solicitor Eanya Egan would not be a fan of calling a shovel a spade.
Referring to an unusual application she had before the court, Judge Devins asked her had she not raised the query with the local District Court Office.
“I might as well have landed from Mars, they hadn’t a clue,” said Eanya.
A man on the criminal list put himself at the mercy of the court, asking Judge Devins to avoid giving him a conviction as it would stop him gaining work as a security officer. He had not helped himself though by sleeping in for the previous sitting.
His solicitor Cathy McDarby vouched for the excuse though. It was only when she rang him that day that he woke from his slumber.
He has to come back on June 6 with certain paperwork in order and was told in no uncertain terms by Judge Devins – be here at 10.30am or you’re getting a conviction. We think he has the alarm clock set already.
There was one custody matter to be dealt with – where someone already in jail is brought to court by the Prison Service to face a charge.  
In this case it was a relatively minor charge – Section 8 Public Order, failing to comply with the directions of a garda. He was brought all the way from the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise, at considerable cost to the State for a matter which could be dealt with in a much more prudent manner.
Inspector Gary Walsh confirmed gardaí did not seek the defendant’s presence in court, that the Prison Service produced him.
“This is so wrong,” said Judge Devins, who struck the matter out.
“Thanks Judge,” said the defendant, the only person happy with the outcome. He got to catch up with a few friends during his unnecessary trip to Castlebar, all at the taxpayer’s expense.

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