Two men from Castlebar have been ordered by a judge to stay out of the town centre following a disturbance in the town last week.
Eamon Maughan (21) of 29, Knockthomas Drive, Castlebar, and Owen McDonagh (25) of 35, Cois Abhann, Turlough Road, Castlebar, both appeared before Castlebar District Court on Wednesday last charged with breaches of the Public Order Act. Further charges are expected.
They were arrested on Main Street, Castlebar, the previous day, shortly before 3pm, following a disturbance.
Inspector Dermot Butler told the court that the alleged incident held up traffic on Main Street in Castlebar ‘for a considerable length of time’. Maughan replied, “That won’t happen again.”
Gardaí successfully applied to have both men kept off certain streets in the town during business hours as one of the conditions of them being granted bail. Both are also confined by a nighttime curfew.
Garda Olive Lafferty told Judge Fiona Lydon that there was a ‘massive problem’ of anti-social behaviour in the town, affecting businesses on a ‘daily basis’, and that both Maughan and McDonagh were contributing to the problem.
Maughan told Judge Lydon that he was not involved in anti-social behaviour and described as ‘unfair’ the order he be kept off the streets. “How am I supposed to socialise and do things with my family if I am locked up 24/7?” he asked.
Garda Lafferty said she ‘felt strongly’ that Maughan should not be in the town centre during business hours. His solicitor, Declan Hynes, said that although his client was ‘not overly happy’ with the bail condition, it was ‘not unreasonable’ given the charges.
However, Mr Hynes asked that his client be allowed to continue to attend the gym at Lough Lannagh and play soccer with Castlebar Celtic.
Gardaí said there would be no issue with this, as both facilities were not on the proscribed list of streets. At the end of the hearing, Mr Hynes said that Mr Maughan accepted the conditions
The streets Maughan and McDonagh have been asked to stay away from, from 9am to 7pm daily, are Ellison Street, Main Street, Hopkins Road, Market Square, Linenhall Street, Tucker Street, Chapel Street, Bridge Street, Rush Street and New Antrim Street.
Following an application by his solicitor, Maughan is allowed to be on Hopkins Road before 12 noon on Mondays in order to collect his social welfare from the Post Office.
Gary Mulchrone, solicitor for Owen McDonagh, asked that his client be allowed access to New Antrim Street, as it is close to where he lives and he needs to access it in order to get in and out of the town. Gardaí consented to that.
Garda Michael Toland, who arrested McDonagh, told the court that anti-social behaviour is a ‘huge problem’ for businesses in the town and was a particular concern ahead of the start of last weekend’s 4 Day Walks festival.
Judge Fiona Lydon adjourned the case to September 17, giving the Gardaí the authority to bring the matter before her in the interim if either man was in breach of bail conditions. Exceptions to the town-centre curfew were also allowed for medical appointments and consultations with the defendants’ solicitors.