Judge tells two young women involved in violent school row to take up knitting

Judge Patrick Durcan: “If your clients want to get their housing problems sorted, they should behave in a different way and maybe take up knitting or something like that.” Tony Grehan/Press 22

Judge Patrick Durcan: “If your clients want to get their housing problems sorted, they should behave in a different way and maybe take up knitting or something like that.” Tony Grehan/Press 22

Wed, Apr 2, 2014, 22:27

A judge has told two young women involved in a violent row outside an Ennis primary school they “should behave in a different way and maybe take up knitting”.

Judge Patrick Durcan was commenting after imposing four-month suspended sentences on sisters Rose Mahon (24), Ballaghboy halting site, Quin Road, Ennis, and Laura Molloy (23), An Páirc, Bruach na hAbhainn, Ennis, for their role in the row at Holy Family junior school on March 20th, 2012.

At Ennis District Court, Judge Durcan said he did not accept that the two were minor players in the events that took place at the school on the day “and are as equally guilty as anyone else involved”.

Gardaí stated that as parents collected their children from the school, Ms Mahon’s husband, Conor Mahon, ran across the school playground with a slash-hook, along with a 13-year-old with a machete, giving chase to two others who barricaded themselves into a classroom containing eight five-year-old children and a teacher.

At the same time, Ms Mahon and Ms Molloy attacked a Land-Rover belonging to Thomas Sherlock outside the school. They pleaded guilty to causing €1,500 worth of criminal damage.

Judge Durcan said that a 1999 vehicle would be barely worth €1,500 today and he would accept €150 in compensation for the damage carried out by the two.

He said what the two women did at Station Road outside the school was beneath contempt. Solicitor Daragh Hassett said his clients came to the area from a different direction to others involved in the incident “by a complete coincidence, but unfortunately they got involved”.

Mr Hassett said that what the two sisters did on the day was unforgiveable but argued that they were at the lower end of involvement in the row.

Mr Hassett said that Mr Mahon and the teenager had already been dealt with before Ennis Circuit Court. The two pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

In sentencing the sisters, Judge Durcan said: “If your clients want to live up to their responsibilities to their young children, I commend them for that. If they want to get their housing problems sorted, they should behave in a different way and maybe take up knitting or something like that.”