25 Jan 2022

Court hears that dispute between two Tullamore families resolved by mediation

Court hears that dispute between two Tullamore families has been resolved

Court hears that dispute between two Tullamore families has been resolved

TULLAMORE District Court was told that a dispute between two local families has been resolved by mediation.

Judge Catherine Staines imposed six-month suspended sentences on two men and a €100 fine on another after guilty pleas were entered to breaches of the Public Order Act.

Tommy McCarthy, 160 Arden View and Mark Power, 119 Arden View both pleaded guilty to affray and engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour in Arden View on May 11 last.

Tommy McCarthy also admitted producing a plank of wood contrary to the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act.

Tommy McCarthy's father, James McCarthy, also of 160 Arden View, pleaded guilty to a breach of the peace.

Sergeant James O'Sullivan said Mark Power had alleged that when he was involved in an altercation with Tommy McCarthy, James McCarthy got involved and threatened him.

Sergeant O'Sullivan added that while Tommy McCarthy was waving a plank of timber while he approached Mr Power, he did not strike the other man with it.

It had also been alleged by Mr Power that Tommy McCarthy said “You're dead” to him and there was a scuffle between the pair and that both McCarthys ran after Mr Power as he went home.

Tommy McCarthy alleged that Mr Power headbutted him after they had a verbal argument and they then punched each other.
Sergeant O'Sullivan said Tommy McCarthy had one previous conviction under the Misuse of Drugs Act and two for road traffic offences.

James McCarthy had previously been convicted of a motoring offences and two other offences dating back to the 1990s.
Sergeant O'Sullivan said Mark Power had 23 previous convictions and the most recent of those was for drug cultivation in 2018.

In 2013 he had been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison in Tullamore Circuit Court after being convicted of assault causing harm.

Suzanne Dooner, BL, for the McCarthys, said pleas of guilty were being entered by both men at an early stage.

James McCarthy was a 51-year-old unemployed man who had spent time in custody in respect of another matter where there was a revocation of bail in the Circuit Court on the back of the offence before the court.

Ms Dooner said there had been an ongoing dispute between the McCarthy and Power families but they were participating in mediation and seemed to have put matters behind them.

The mediation was continuing and James McCarthy is subject to a two-and-a-half year suspended sentence for violent disorder imposed at the Circuit Court for an offence committed prior to the incident on May 11.

That sentence was imposed for an offence committed in an incident involving the same two families, Ms Dooner said.

The barrister added that mediation had been very successful and the parties had been working at it and they seemed to have moved on.

Ms Dooner added that Tommy McCarthy had sustained injuries in the May 11 incident but both he and his father were not pointing fingers and accepted their involvement.

She added that Tommy McCarthy, aged 25, had been attending a welding course for the previous three weeks.

Patrick Martin, solicitor for Mark Power, a 42-year-old man said to have had family difficulties, told the court his client had also been remanded in custody after receiving a suspended sentence for another matter.

Mr Martin said the mediation had resulted in matters being resolved between the parties.

Judge Staines imposed a €100 fine on James McCarthy and a six-month suspended sentence on Tommy McCarthy.

She told the younger man: “If there's any further incidents Mr McCarthy and you get convicted of them you have a six-month sentence hanging over you.”

The judge said she was delighted to hear the families had been involved in mediation which was better for all parties.
“100%,” replied Tommy McCarthy.

Imposing a six-month suspended sentence on Mark Power, Judge Staines said that though matters may have been resolved between the parties, a lot of families in the community would have been affected.

She stressed that she was suspending the sentences on the basis that there would be no further incidents and that mediation would continue.

“You're all to start behaving properly otherwise you'll end up going to prison,” said Judge Staines.

The suspended sentences previously imposed on Mark Power and James McCarthy followed guilty pleas in the Circuit Court to offences committed in Arden View on April 9, 2020.

Judge Keenan Johnson heard that Mark Power, who admitted a charge of violent disorder, had suffered a fractured skull when he was struck on the head with a shovel while lying unconscious on the ground.

A young male, aged 15 at the time and not a member of either the Power or McCarthy families, admitted assaulting Mark Power.

James McCarthy pleaded guilty to violent disorder and at the sentencing hearing in July Judge Johnson said the families were involved in a “feud” and likened the incident on April 9 last year, which also involved a number of other men, to “hillbilly activity”.

He said a feature of such feuds is that they go back a long time and often people cannot remember how they began and in this case “Arden View became a powder keg and it took a very tiny spark to set it off”.

He noted that some of those involved had moved away from the area and said that should reduce the risk of reoffending.

The Circuit Court heard the participants were also involved in mediation and they were ordered to continue doing so.

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