Prison vans shouldn’t park all day - judge

THE problem of prison vans and patrol cars blocking upper Main Street in Portlaoise on court day was acknowledged by Judge Catherine Staines recently.

THE problem of prison vans and patrol cars blocking upper Main Street in Portlaoise on court day was acknowledged by Judge Catherine Staines recently.

In the case of John McDonagh, 8 Lawlor Way, Fairgreen, Portlaoise, at last week’s sitting of the District Court, the judge was informed that the defendant was not present in court but was on his way.

As there was a considerable number of cases to be heard, Judge Staines told solicitor, Mr Declan Breen that it was not acceptable to have so many people in custody within the confines of the courthouse.

“I’m not keeping prisoners here all day,” said Judge Staines. “It’s just not acceptable to have prison vans parked outside all day.”

When McDonagh appeared, he pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour and failure to comply with the gardaí, relating to an incident that occurred at the Portlaoise Garda Station on July 1 last year.

Inspector Martin Smethers gave evidence that McDonagh was involved in a dispute with another person in the public area of the garda station.

Judge Staines fined McDonagh €200.