Judge says feuding families in Ennis behaving like savages

Judge imposes jail terms on 12 members and associates of Sherlock and Molloy families

Judge says some participants of a feud in Ennis, Co Clare don’t even know what the feud is about.

Judge says some participants of a feud in Ennis, Co Clare don’t even know what the feud is about.


A judge has said feuding Travellers in Ennis, Co Clare had “behaved like savages to each other”.

Judge Gerald Keys made his comment on Friday before jailing three men for a series of confrontations between the Sherlock and Molloy families, who are related to each other.

Cumulatively, the judge imposed jail terms totalling 50 years and seven months on 12 members and associates of the Sherlock and Molloy families concerning four separate prosecutions.

The vast proportion of the jail terms are suspended.

Addressing the offenders at Ennis Circuit Court the judge said “all of you have been a disgrace to your families but more importantly to your fellow Travellers.”

He said: “All of you have brought great shame on your community which seriously tests the patience of law-abiding citizens.”

The judge said there was no sign of common sense prevailing in the feud and said the offenders’ actions lead to resentment towards Travellers.

The judge said the feuding “must stop and this court will not tolerate this ongoing criminal activity”.

He said some participants don’t even know what the feud is about, that that the offenders have been jumping on the bandwagon “and you behave like savages to each other. . . This has to stop.”

In sentencing, the judge imposed a three-year jail term, with one year suspended on Declan Sherlock (23) formerly of Dromard, Ennis for a day light street assault on Sean Slattery that was a flashpoint between the Sherlock-Molloy families on July 28th, 2017.

In this assault on O’Connell Street in Ennis, Mr Sherlock struck Mr Slattery while he lay on the footpath 10 times across the head and body with a long wooden pole.

The attack by Mr Sherlock was in response to his brother, Damien Sherlock being assaulted earlier that day by Thomas Molloy (26) and James Molloy (20) both of Ballaghboy halting site.

In response to that incident, the judge jailed James Molloy and Thomas Molloy for two years.

The Sherlocks’ father, James Sherlock (50) formerly of Dromard, Ennis was the get-away driver for the attack on Sean Slattery.

James Sherlock was given a number of suspended sentences for his role in three separate incidents.

The judge told him that he would have been sent to jail but for James Sherlock’s decision to relocate to Co Leitrim.

The judge told James Sherlock: “You have let yourself down and your family down.”

The judge told him if he sets foot in Ennis during the period of his suspended sentences, he will go to jail.