Three Longford men and one local company are facing €12,000 in fines following a wedding reception last week subject to a court order
Following the reports of a marquee being erected on council land, Longford County Council sought a court injunction calling for the structure to be torn down.
When the event later went ahead, Longford County Council pursued legal action over the breach of the court order
Over 100 people attended the wedding reception last week in defiance of the court order.
At a special sitting of Longford Circuit Court on Thursday last, Judge Keenan Johnson ordered those involved in the event, both family and suppliers, to appear before him this afternoon to explain the alleged breach of the court order.
Describing the offence today, Judge Johnson said the alleged actions showed 'tremendous defiance, arrogance, foolishness and selfishness.' and ran the risk of creating a 'super spreader event.'
The judge acknowledged that the travelling community face discrimination and last week's actions have 'increased the isolation of travellers from the rest of society.'
Judge Keenan Johnson ordered that the newly married man, his father, the father of the bride and the owner of a local restaurant who catered the event, must now pay €3,000 equally split among three local charities, and to make a public apology to the court, in what he described as the best way of unblocking this unsavoury situation.
Gardaí and Longford County Council were not able to provide proof that a fourth businessman, responsible for the rental and erection of the marquee, was aware of the court order on the tent and as such was not included in the fines.
However, referring to the local businessman, Judge Johnson claimed his behaviour was 'nothing short of disgraceful' and branded the wedding suppliers as an insult to other businesses who've followed the rules.
Finishing his address to the court, the judge commended Longford County Council and Local Gardaí for doing all they could while also calling for a reform of certain covid policing strategies.