Family feud leads to exile from county

A man involved in an ongoing family feud, who smashed a car windscreen with a socket bar, avoided prison this week by undertaking to leave Mayo and not return for 12 months.

At Tuesday’s sitting of Ballina District Court, Judge Mary Devins heard the details about an incident in St Patrick’s Estate on September 6, 2012.

Garda Adrian Michael O’Shaughnessy was on patrol in the estate on the day when he saw Martin Collins, 7 Woodville, Killala Road, Ballina, use a metal socket bar to smash the windscreen of a car, travelling very slowly along the road.

John Collins, 5, Millview Crescent, Ballina, was driving the car at the time.

John Collins got out of the car and began gesturing and shouting at Martin Collins, indicating he wanted to fight. Martin Collins returned the threats and gestures.

At the same time, two women - Tracy Collins and Lena Collins - were engaged in a brawl in the driveway of a house.

They had to be separated and Lena Collins shouted insults at Tracy Collins after the fight was broken up. Lena Collins, Martin Collins and John Collins were arrested.

Martin Collins pleaded guilty to possession of an article with intent to cause injury and criminal damage.

John Collins and Lena Collins denied committing a public order offence on the day by engaging in threatening, insulting or abusive behaviour.

Lena Collins said she called to the house to speak to Tracy Collins about damage caused to her car in a road traffic accident the day before. She said Tracy Collins attacked her and the fight ensued.

Solicitor for Martin Collins, John Gordon, said this was part of a series of incidents between the defendants in an ongoing family feud.

Solicitor for John and Lena Collins, Denis Molloy, said his clients didn’t cause the breach of the peace on the day.

Judge Devins heard Martin Collins intended to leave Mayo immediately following the court sitting.

She said that she would impose a suspended sentence if he undertook to stay out of the county, with no exceptions, for 12 months.

Martin Collins agreed and a six-month prison sentence was suspended for one year.

The judge said the public order breach against Lena Collins and John Collins was proved, however there were mitigating circumstances and both were given the benefit of the Probation Act.

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