Renewed calls have been made for the removal of the courthouse from the town centre after three arrests near the court on Thursday afternoon amid ugly scenes.
The trouble seemed to spark following the conclusion of a sentencing matter in the circuit court. Three members of the Travelling community were given prison sentences for their part in an affray in the street in 2012 involving steel bars, in which a man received a head injury requiring staples.
A garda spokesperson said that while there were no reports of injuries, three arrests were made on the day, one of whom was a juvenile. The juvenile is now being processed through the National Juvenile Diversion Programme. The other two men, one in his 20s and the other in his 40s, are both local and they have been charged with public order offences. The garda spokesperson has revealed that the gardaí are studying CCTV footage and further arrests are expected.
Gardaí confirmed that the incident was the result of a court case on the day, and events escalated after people who had “nothing to do with what was going on” became involved.
Downtown Portlaoise said traders and residents can’t take any more.
SEE PAGES 2&3