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Judge warns Traveller after courthouse 'jig'

A judge has demanded to know why the "ringleader" of a long-running feud between Traveller families "danced a jig" outside a district court.

Christy "Ditsy" Nevin (54) appeared at a special sitting of Mullingar District Court in Co Westmeath yesterday charged with violent disorder following a riot last year.

Mr Nevin of Bay 8, St Michael's Park in Mullingar, was among a group of 55 men and one woman who faced Judge John Neilan on charges relating to a major public order incident in Dalton Park in the town on July 29, 2008.

The 56 defendants who appeared in court were all charged with violent disorder while four were also charged with possession of offensive weapons under the Firearms Act.

The judge threatened to revoke bail from Christy "Ditsy" Nevin after he "entertained all and sundry" in the precinct of the court during his last appearance on Monday, February 9.

"He is not going to treat this court with the contempt he showed in the courtyard after he was given bail," said Judge Neilan.

The judge said Mr Nevin had showed "total disregard" to his bail conditions and was "hell bent on creating mischief".

Defence solicitor Patricia Cronin said her client had "reacted" to the cameras flashing "in his face" outside the courthouse.

Judge Neilan said during previous proceedings that Supt John Gantly had referred to Mr Nevin as the "ringleader".

He added that the defendant had "refused point blank to engage with a mediator" who was brought in to quell the dispute between the Traveller families.


He said Mr Nevin should be setting an example for the younger defendants instead of "inciting them to commit further offences in this town".

James Dinnegan (37) of 224 Dalton Park, Sean Dinnegan (39) of 263 Dalton Park, Christopher Greville (26) of 192 Dalton Park and Michael McDonagh (25) of 197 Dalton Park, were also charged with possession of offensive weapons in a car at the Maxol Service Station on the Dublin Road on August 22, 2008.

Among the 55 men and one woman, nine new defendants were arrested and brought before the court charged with violent disorder yesterday. They were each granted bail on their own cash bond of €1,000 with strict conditions attached.

The remainder were remanded on continuing bail under strict conditions and will appear before a special sitting of Mullingar District Court on May 11 for the serving of the Book of Evidence.

Belfast Telegraph


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