More than 120 people defied a court order and attended a traveller wedding after-party in Longford yesterday evening.
Armed Gardaí were called in to take down a 2,000 sq ft marquee that was erected to host the gathering.
A circuit court order was secured this morning, preventing the event from going ahead. This also included an order for the removal of the marquee.
Several units of uniformed Gardaí were drafted in to maintain a “watching brief”, in a bid to ensure no unrest took place.
Superintendent Jim Delaney revealed that Gardaí were assisting the council after this court order was granted.
He also said that officers tried to engage with both the owner and the wedding organiser. He said that both attempts ended in failure.
“We, as an organisation, employed our graduated policing response, being the 4 Es. They are: Explain, engage, encourage and enforce as we have done right through the current pandemic”, said Superintendent Delaney.
“We liaised with both families and the marquee owner and served them with written copies of the current State Covid-19 public health guidelines. But both chose not to engage with us”.
“Kick in the teeth” – Longford County Council
Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council, Paul Ross described this gathering as a “kick in the teeth” to people who have abstained from such gatherings and adhered to the public health guidelines since this pandemic began.
Mr Ross also said that this threatened to undo the council and state agencies’ work to supress the virus.
“Our vaccination centre is open, something which we fought hard to get. To see a large public gathering in the midst of all of this really is a kick in the teeth to all of the ordinary, law abiding citizens of this county”, he said.
He also added, “Obviously with the current pandemic and public health guidelines on gatherings, the council could and would not sit idly by and allow this to happen in Longford town”.
“As Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council it is something I and my colleagues could not stand for”.
It was also reported that a 15 year old boy was charged with murdering a mother of two in Dublin. More on that story here.