Had baseball bat for his own protection

A member of the Travelling community caught with a baseball bat in his van which he claimed was for his own protection was last week ordered to engage with the Midlands Traveller Conflict and Mediation Initiative.

A member of the Travelling community caught with a baseball bat in his van which he claimed was for his own protection was last week ordered to engage with the Midlands Traveller Conflict and Mediation Initiative.

Before last week’s court was John McInerney, 1 Ardrew Meadows, Athy, charged with the possession of an article with intent to cause injury, on February 26 this year.

Inspector Declan Dunne gave evidence that gardaí stopped McInerney on that date and searched his van, discovering a baseball bat in the vehicle. He told the gardaí the bat was for his own protection.

Defence, Mr Philip Meagher said McInerney helps out at markets and sometimes when he is loading up the van he has been approached by “other members of the community” in a threatening manner, which is why he had the bat in the van.

Mr Meagher said that McInerney and his cousins play rounders, which explained the presence of the bat. The bat has now been seized, defence said.

Judge Catherine Staines referred McInerney to the Midlands Traveller Conflict and Mediation Initiative, saying it would be a chance for him to “learn about the futility of having these weapons”.

A probation report was also ordered and the matter was put back to December 11.