Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.15 6 May 2021


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The head of Longford County Council has said a delay getting an injunction allowed a massive Traveller wedding to go ahead on Wednesday.

More than 120 people attended the event on Wednesday night, despite a court order against the erection of a marquee.

The event also went against the current public health guidelines.

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Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council, Fine Gael's Paul Ross, told Pat Kenny they tried their best.

"It was brought to our attention in Longford County Council on Tuesday afternoon that a wedding was going to take place yesterday in the local cathedral - it was a Traveller wedding - and that a marquee had been erected on a site just outside Longford town.

"I felt that we could not stand idly by and let this happen.

"So with that we decided to go for an injunction, which was at the Circuit Court in Sligo yesterday morning/afternoon.

"That injunction was got - obviously we couldn't carry out the injunction with the support of the Gardaí [sic], and we had the full support of the Gardaí who we spoke to on Tuesday.

"We knew this could be a lightning rod when the injunction was got.

"We didn't get the injunction back to Longford until about 1.30, 2.00 yesterday afternoon.

"At that point then, there was a delay and problem with serving the injunction at the site - and that delay meant that the wedding was concluded and the venue was then full of people.

"A decision was made then not to enforce the injunction at that point."

'Angry and disappointed'

He said this decision was "very, very disappointing for us - we felt we did all that we needed to do to stop this public gathering.

"It's a bitter blow, to be honest with you".

He said he, and many others, are angry and disappointed.

"I feel very, very disappointed today, very angry today... there is indifference.

"There's a flagrant disregard for public health guidelines - on a day when our vaccine centre in Longford is actually open today for the first time, which should be a good news story for the county.

"When this happened last night - a mass gathering, over 120 people I believe attended the event last night - despite what I would say were the best efforts of the council to prevent this.

"The Gardaí were well-armed, they had a good crew yesterday and still we couldn't enforce the injunction.

"It's very, very disappointing, it leaves people very angry today and I suppose they feel let down".

And he added that this was a "total disregard" to the people of Longford.

"People have to be responsible for their actions: on a week when Pavee Point are looking for, I believe, the Travelling community to be vaccinated priority - and then you see this action happening yesterday with total disregard to the people of Longford.

"And I've had numerous stories this morning of people whose lives have been totally disputed, of funerals they couldn't attend, of people in hospital, of women who had babies with no partners.

"This thing yesterday in Longford just has been a lightening rod for people to express their annoyance, and it's very, very frustrating - and you cannot blame people for being annoyed about it".

'A bitter blow' - Delay serving injunction allowed Traveller wedding to go ahead

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Gardai Injunction Longford Longford County Council Longford Marquee Paul Ross Pavee Point Traveller Wedding

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