A brother and sister were both given the benefit of the probation act at Ballyhaunis District Court this week after they were arrested following a row in a chipper in the town. Rachel Loughran, Ascaill Na Bhfea, Ballinlough, Co Roscommon, and Sean Mitchell, Carrick, Ballinlough, Co Roscommon, both pleaded guilty to public order charges brought against them.
Garda David Dolan told the court that on December 12 2008, gardaí got a call to go to an incident in a chip shop in the town at 3.12am and they saw Mitchell involved in a row with another man, where Mitchell was the aggressor. They arrested Mitchell and, when his sister Mrs Loughran got involved in the incident and started shouting at them not to arrest her brother, she was also arrested under the Public Order Act.
The court heard that the incident was completely out of character for both Loughran (35 ) and Mitchell (21 ) who had been out that evening socialising with family.
Judge Mary Devins gave Loughran the benefit of the probation act in lieu of a conviction if she made a €300 donation to the Mayo Roscommon Hospice for the charge of being threatening and abusive in a public place, and took the charge of being intoxicated in a public place into consideration. She took a similar course with Mitchell, who was ordered to pay a €500 donation to the Mayo Roscommon Hospice.