Resident wields Samurai sword over lawn mowing

Mullingar District Court has heard how a man who resented his local residents’ association taking over grass-cutting on his green, responded by wielding a Samurai sword.

Vincent McDonnell of 49 Ardleigh Park, Mullingar admitted possessing the weapons to intimidate others on March 14 last, when he saw a man hired by the residents’ association mowing the green outside his house.

Inspector Jarlath Folan said McDonnell told the landscaper to get off his grass, then left the scene, and returned with his own lawnmower.

Two members of the residents’ association tried to calm him down as he was extremely irate, but he was urging one of them to fight him.

They had to restrain him in a head-lock because he was so threatening, but when he got away he ran back to his house and come out waving a Samurai sword, out of its pouch.

Three swords were seized by gardaí, and McDonnell has previous convictions for assault and threatening behaviour almost 10 years ago.

McDonnell’s solicitor said his client had been looking after the entire green for six years, mowing it for four hours, 18 times a year.

“It was four feet high. I cut it so the kids could play,” McDonnell said.

The residents’ association had been set up for the entire estate, and the organisers were concerned that if some people mowed the grass themselves, they might not contribute to the association, the court heard.

The solicitor said McDonnell has had a difficult 12 months.

The Samurai swords were a decoration hanging on the wall, which McDonnell said he had bought at Clara Market in Offaly.

Judge Hughes said McDonnell had responded in an ill-advised way for a mature, grown man, and that such things shouldn’t happen in neighbourhoods.

He adjourned the case to March 21 when McDonnell faces another charge, and asked McDonnell to agree not to interfere with the green area.

Judge Hughes said he would like to hear from the chairman or secretary of the association on that day also.


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