Willie Clancy Week stretched Garda resources

This article is from page 10 of the 2007-04-03 edition of The Clare People. OCR mistakes are to be expected so download the original SWF or the rendered page 10 JPG

GARDA resources during the Wil- lie Clancy music festival last year were “grossly inadequate” as just six gardai were on duty on a night when 1,700 people were in the town.

That was the view expressed by a judge, who heard details of an assault case in court last week.

Judge Joseph Mangan made the comments at Kilrush District Court, in the case of three men who were

charged with assault, arising out of a series of incidents in Miltown Mal- bay on a night in July last year.

Two of the three were convicted, while a charge against the third ac- cused was dismissed. Brian Sexton (18), of Spanish Point, Miltown Malbay, was convicted of three as- sault charges. David Halley (22), of Woodfield, Ballynote, Kilrush, was convicted of a charge of assault, causing harm. A charge of assault against David Kelly, of High Street,

Kilrush, was dismissed.

Sergeant Joe Hehir told the court the incident happened during Willie Clancy week. Judge Joseph Mangan asked how many patrons were in the town that night and was told there were between 1,000 and 1,700.

He then asked, “How many gardai?” and was told there were six.

The judge said, “Sergeant Hehir has stated there were up to 1,700 patrons in Miltown Malbay on this night. S1x gardai on patrol in that situation

is grossly inadequate. It’s not fair to the people of Miltown Malbay and it’s not fair to the majority of patrons who went there to enjoy themselves and, above all, it is not fair to the six members of the gardai,” he said.

He imposed a three-month deten- tion sentence on Sexton and fined Halley €500. He fixed recognisances in the event of an appeal, for both young men. Halley’s solicitor Eu- gene O’Kelly told the court his cli- ent thought his friend was in trouble

on the night and went to rescue him. “He didn’t go to Miltown to cause trouble,” said Mr O’ Kelly.

Sexton’s solicitor Joe Moloney said his client came from a decent family and his mother was in court with him. Judge Mangan said, “Mr Sexton instigated and initiated all of the trouble on the night. If it weren’t for him, there wouldn’t have been any trouble. His words and his ac- tions led to mayhem on the night and he has to face the consequences.”

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