Family feud erupted in punch-up at courthouse
BLOODY: Traveller's fears for mum
THREE men have admitted fighting outside a Dublin courthouse when a dispute broke out between two feuding Traveller families.
Michael McDonagh (25), his teenage brother James (18) and their cousin James McDonagh (19) were in court to support a woman relative who was due to give evidence when the fight broke out.
Michael McDonagh claimed he only got involved as he was trying to protect his mother, as there wasn't enough gardai around to ensure her safety.
The men all denied they threw the first punch.
Brothers Michael and James McDonagh, of Brega, Hamlet Lane, Balbriggan, and their cousin, James McDonagh, of McNeill Hall, George's Hill, Balbriggan, admitted before Swords District Court to a charge of affray outside Swords courthouse, in North Street, Swords, on October 10 last year.
Judge John Coughlan fined James McDonagh €500, sentenced his brother Michael McDonagh to four months in custody and fined their cousin James McDonagh €500.
The court had heard the three got involved in a row with another family outside the courthouse, which left a number of men shirtless and with bloody faces.
Defence solicitor Sean Brown said the incident arose out of a feud with another family.
Mr Brown said that James McDonagh (19) was a father-of-one and was unemployed.
He said that McDonagh denied throwing the first punch, but he had admitted the incident got out of control. In relation to Michael McDonagh, Mr Brown said that the defendant was an unemployed father-of-two.
On the day of the fight he was in court to support his mother, and he got involved in the fight because he was concerned about the safety of his cousin.
The court heard he has a previous conviction for aggravated burglary.
Mr Brown said James McDonagh (18) got involved as he was trying to protect his brother and cousin.
Judge Coughlan fined James McDonagh, who has no previous convictions, €500, sentenced his brother Michael McDonagh to four months in custody and fined their cousin James McDonagh €500.