The weekly Petty Sessions Court was held in Athy on Tuesday, before Captain B.F. Lefroy (presiding), Dr. O'Neil, Mr. Thomas Hickey, and Mr. J. C. Ryan, R.M.
Matthew Slevin, jun., Boley, summoned John O'Connell, Gracefield, for abusive language and also for malicious and willful damage to a bicycle the property of Slevin.
In a cross-summons O'Connell charged Slevin with assault.
Slevin stated that he was in Mulhall's publichouse, Athy, on the 4th of April last, when the defendant followed him calling him a coward and a blackguard and a rascal. He tried to provoke witness, threatened to assault him, and kicked his bicycle, breaking the spokes and buckling the wheel. Witness had to pay 8s. 6d. to repair the damage to the machine. He (Slevin) was speaking to a servant in Mulhall's shop, in Duke street, when O'Connell told her to go away; that she would have no luck if she spoke to a blackguard like him.
In reply to Mr. Toomey, the witness denied that he threatened O'Connell's sister with a sprong. There were a number of people in the taproom at the time, but none of them touched the bicycle except the defendant, the witness, and Mulhall, who also interfered. Witness did not provoke the attack in any way.
Mr. Toomey-- Were you in court before for assault ?
Slevin-- I was never in this court before. Mr. Toomey-- You say you were never in this court before. I think "sleeveen" would be a more appropriate name for you than Slevin. Were you bound over to keep the peace for an assault on a man named Dwyer?
Yes; but the Doyles were also bound over to keep the peace.
John O'Connell stated that he had a certain conversation with Slevin, and Slevin struck him on the face. Witness admitted putting his hand on Slevin's bicycle, but he did not kick or damage it. There were a number of men pulling at the machine. Witness and Slevin had words on previous occasions.
John Dwyer said he witnessed the altercation between Slevin and O'Connell. He saw Slevin strike the latter. A number of men were pulling at the bicycle, and Mulhall appeared to be pulling it very determinedly. Witness and Slevin were both bound to the peace.
Constable McArdle said that on the date in question Slevin complained to him that O'Connell was abusing him, and that he damaged his bicycle. Witness cautioned all the parties. He saw Slevin afterwards riding down the town on the bicycle. The machine was not damaged. If thirty spokes had been broken Slevin could not have ridden the machine.
S.J. Maxwell, Duke street, Athy stated on the 4th of April Slevin brought a bicycle to his establishment for repairs. The wheel was buckled. He thought there were three or four spokes broken. It is quite possible that the injuries were of an old standing, and Slevin might have ridden from Boley with the bicycle in the condition in which witness saw it.
Mary Nolan stated, she saw O'Connell pulling the bicycle from Slevin. She saw nobody kicking the bicycle.
Mr. Byrne addressed the court in support of his client's case, and at the close of his remarks be commented on the fact that Mr. Toomey was afraid to say a word in justification of O'Connell's behaviour and case.
Mr. Toomey objected to the remark, saying be did not wish to take up the time of the court on a case the facts of which were so simple. I may tell you, Mr. Toomey added with emphasis, that I am not afraid of Mr. Byrne, either here or outside.
Mr. Byrne-- Oh, I know you are not afraid of me, but you are afraid of your case.
The Bench dismissed all three cases.
Kildare (Naas, County Kildare, Ireland) Observer, April 30, 1910.