Reputation of Traveller sisters led to assault in the street

TWO Portlaoise sisters who attacked a woman outside the local social welfare office because they felt the woman had been saying things which tarnished their reputations within the Traveller community appeared before last week’s district court charged with assault.

TWO Portlaoise sisters who attacked a woman outside the local social welfare office because they felt the woman had been saying things which tarnished their reputations within the Traveller community appeared before last week’s district court charged with assault.

The court heard that the injured party had her two-year-old child with her when she was attacked by Annmarie (21) and Brigid (25) Delaney, both of 24 Abbey Court, Abbeyleix Road, on November 15 last year. The assault took place outside the Community Welfare Office on the Dublin Road, Portlaoise.

Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that the sisters pulled the other woman’s hair and struck her in the face with a slapping motion. The altercation was broken up by members of the public and the Delaneys left the scene. When the gardaí caught up with them, they did not make any admissions.

Insp Farrelly explained that there was a history between the two parties. He said that the victim had sustained no real injuries, but she had her two-year-old child with at the time.

Neither Delaney has any previous convictions.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said that both girls had been brought up in Tipperary, and one had limited literacy while the other’s was good. She said that her clients understood the injured party had been saying unhelpful things about them, and their reputations were important within the Traveller community.

“Well, assaulting people is not helping their reputations,” remarked Judge Catherine Staines.

Ms Fitzpatrick handed in letters of apology to the injured party, on behalf of her clients.

Judge Staines put the back to September 19 for a victim impact statement and a probation report. She ordered the Delaneys to have €250 compensation each on that date.

The judge also said that the letters of apology could be given to the injured party once the probation report has been handed in.