The 17 year old student who can't be named as he's underage, appeared before Ennis District Court this morning, charged with producing an article likely to cause serious injury, in last Saturday night's fatal altercation on O'Connell Street.
Members of the late Michael Doherty's family were in court this morning as a 17 year old student was before Judge Joseph Mangan, charged in connection with the incident which led to his death last weekend.
14 year old Michael Doherty, of Ashline, Ennis died from stab wounds, following an altercation on O'Connell Street at around 11 o'clock on Saturday night.
He was laid to rest on Wednesday.
Today the 17 year old student was remanded on continuing bail. He's charged with producing an article likely to cause serious injury contrary to section 11 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act. (but notice he has not yet - if ever - been charged with actual murder)
The accused is due back before Ennis district court on September 28th, giving gardai time to prepare a book of evidence in the case and to seek intstructions from the Director of Public prosecutions.
It is not often that I personally comment upon many issues in this country of ours except in situations whereby I feel comment is necessary and this is one of those situations....
For just a moment, please look at the picture which accompanies this script and please reflect on this simple fact....where that marquee style tent is standing is where an innocent young boy of 14 years of age was stabbed to death last Saturday night.
Just before 11pm, this young man was going about his business having been to a local horse fair and now heading home. He was accosted by a 17 year old who was carrying a knife, and after harassing the 14 year old, this thug drew his knife and repeatedly stabbed the younger boy.
He left him to die in the street and calmly made his way up the street, discarding the knife in the grounds of the cathedral in Ennis and then went to a local pub only 2 doors up and asked the owner if he could wash himself as he was covered in blood.
Meanwhile, the local Gardaí had arrived on the scene, and started to squabble amongst themselves as to whether or not they should move the (still breathing) boy to the local hospital which is only a matter of moments away and if they were to blue and two it (lights and speed) the young boy would no doubt have survived.
However, the hospital had sent an ambulance in the interim which took over 41 minutes to arrive to a scene normally less than 10 minutes away which certainly raises a lot of questions and even the Health Service Executive West Region has stated it took over 20 minutes to reach the scene which raises even more questions than it answers. The young boy was taken to the hospital and according to one of the local on duty doctors, if the young man had been brought in earlier there was every chance of having saved his innocent life.
In the meantime, the 17 year old was tracked down and brought to Ennis Garda Station for questioning by no less than the colleagues of his father (Garda McGovern) who just happens to be a Garda in Ennis and normally would be held for 24 hours for questioning. This however did not happen in this particular case as it was deemed too dangerous to release him after this time as it was felt he was now in danger, so he was kept in the Garda Station pending a court appearance on Monday in Gort, county Galway.
He was brought to court and the judge was advised that there was no objection to bail by the Gardaí (to be expected...but not normally the case let it be noted!!!) and the total sum of €3,000 was paid in as surety to the court. The young assailant was now also given free legal aid which means he will not have to pay a single red penny towards his legal defence despite his parents both having well paid jobs as a Garda and nurse respectively. No other person in Ireland in such a position would have received such treatment of such a lenient nature....
The family of the young victim were now left with the harrowing task of having to come to terms with the death of an innocent child who had, unlike his assailant, no record of ever being in trouble with the law.
On Tuesday, his white casket was removed from the local funeral home and carried through the streets of Ennis and momentarily halted at the spot as pictured above before moving on to the Cathedral.
The Garda force decided to antagonise the situation which had been caused by the son of one of their members by ensuring the Garda helicopter hovered in the skies above monitoring the proceedings below and sticking out like sore thumbs from nooks and crannies like ould Biddies were members of the force....and one question sprung to mind as some of us stood there awaiting the arrival of the mourning crowds....
Where the fuck were they when this young man was being assaulted and why were they squabbling like schoolyard children in deciding whether or not to rush the young innocent to hospital and try and save his life?
It seemed as if the Gardaí were hoping that some disturbance would break out and there is no doubt but that their presence was nothing short of an attempt to antagonise an already somewhat tense situation.
This repeated itself on Wednesday when we gathered together in mourning in the Cathedral before we would say our farewell to the young man and again antagonism seemed to be the order of the day with yet again an over the top and unwelcome and intrusive presence by this alleged police force into the private mourning of a community.
As I returned home that evening to my own abode, my heart genuinely was behind with the family and community which had raised, nurtured and now that day, just buried an innocent young man.
To them, I would like to say that throughout Ireland and beyond, you have more support than you know and acknowledging that for now you must rebuild your lives if possible, we too like you shall not forget your innocent son.
You raised a loving and caring son who was so brutally cut down in the prime of his life by someone who may never be held accountable for it but know that one day he will have to answer to God for his actions.
Your son is there now and will be keeping watch over you all and please God, he will give you all the strength, courage and hope to see you all through the coming times.
To the Gardaí, well what can one say except that yet again, you have proven how corrupt a force you actually are, individually and collectively, and also that you are also no longer deserving of the support of the public.
Your actions and indeed your inactions have determined in many peoples hearts and minds that in all honesty, you have no respect for many elements of Irish society, and this was indeed most obvious to so many of us who had to comfort and console a devastated family and community.
Not one of you tipped your hat, blessed yourselves or in any way showed any respect to the passing remains of an innocent young man...such disrespect by a disrespectful force of ignorants is all that can be said.
Now, you should lower your heads, if nothing else, in shame for the way you have allowed your true colours to be so publicly displayed.
Shame on you all, again individually and collectively.
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