Family funeral fracas fairly squared

A man who got into a disagreement with his brother-in-law in the early hours of the morning at what was described in the District Court on Friday (October 8 ) as a “funeral tea”, was given a month to make a donation to a local charity or face a much greater fine.

Inspector Fergus Treanor told the court how a number of his officers were called to a disturbance in the street outside the home of John Nevin (37 ), in Valley Cottages, Mullingar at around 2.50am on October 6.

“They met a number of people on the road. Mr Nevin was roaring and shouting at this individual. He was very difficult to handle,” said the inspector.

He explained to Judge Patrick Clyne that of Nevin’s 29 previous convictions, his most recent last year was for motoring offences, whilst his last for public order breaches was in 2006.

“When did your client fall off the wagon, Mr Quinn?” asked the judge.

“It was a slight blip, judge,” answered defence solicitor, Mr John Quinn.

“A row developed with his brother-in-law, and he has apologised to both members in advance of solicitor’s instruction,” he went on.

“Really?” asked the judge.

“Oh yes, judge. Done of his own accord,” confirmed Mr Quinn.

Judge Clyne was curious what the fight was about and Nevin told him: “The brother-in-law is a young fella and he’s fierce hard to handle”.

“They may have been at a funeral tea, judge,” offered Mr Quinn wryly.

Judge Clyne then suggested he would give Nevin the full benefit of the court if he could come up with a charitable donation of €250, but when Mr Quinn asked for two months to pay this as he was unemployed and had two children, the judge answered: “Not a hope in hell!”

“Mr Quinn, will you explain to your client in words of one syllable or less, I will give him one month, but that there will be a penalty on default,” said the judge.

He adjourned completion of the case until November 12, when he said he would give Nevin the benefit of the Probation Act if he made a €250 payment to the local Open Door Project before that date.

“I know my name is Nevin, yer honour, but I wasn’t involved in any of that,” he said, gesturing over his shoulder in the general direction of the Delvin Road.

“Mr Quinn, will you tell your client this court is totally impartial,” said the judge.

He went on to tell Nevin that if he didn’t pay the €250 by November 12, he would be fined €600, or face two weeks in prison, and reminded him: “No cheques. No foreign currency. We want folding money”.

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