Three Westmeath women appear before judge after Clara market melee

Three Westmeath women have been warned that if they engage in further violent disorder, they will be jailed.

Judge Catherine Staines told Elizabeth, Ellen, and Seprina Joyce that “if any of you get involved in this kind of incident again, you’re going to prison”.

She was referring to a dispute at Clara market which saw a man’s van suffer €6,760.60 worth of damage when the women, and others, attacked it.

At Tullamore District Court, Sgt Jer Glavin described how a man and his son who were working at a market stall on September 26 were “set upon” by a number of people.

He described the incident as a melee arising out of a conflict the women had with one of the people at the stall, an incident which the judge said must have been very frightening for the father and son, both members of the Myers family.

Solicitor Niamh McLynn told the court how at the time Elizabeth Joyce (30 ), 15 Millbank, Athlone was a heroin addict and said this addiction may have been part of the reason for the conflict. The mother of four is now clean of drugs but would require a lot of time to pay compensation. She has nine previous convictions for road traffic and theft offences.

Ellen Joyce (20 ) of 23 Toorvalley, Moate has previous convictions for theft. Ms McLynn said the single mother of one lives with her parents and has stayed out of trouble since the Clara incident.

Judge Staines imposed a two month sentence on each woman but suspended it for 12 months noting that compensation was an unrealistic expectation of either.

In the case of Seprina Joyce (30 ), who has no previous convictions, Judge Staines gave the mother of four the benefit of the Probation Act.

A number of other people, members of the Joyce family, have already been dealt with in connection with the same offence.

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