A judge has ordered a young offender to take up a course in kick boxing to get over his fear of local drug barons.
At Ennis District Court yesterday, Judge Patrick Durcan said he wanted to commend 18-year-old Ethan Mahony after hearing that the youth has already attended two court-ordered kick boxing classes.
The progress of Mr Mahony’s kick boxing prompted his solicitor, Daragh Hassett to make a quip about ‘Conor McGregor’ as Mr Mahony told Judge Durcan he has started to attend the local kick boxing classes.
Judge Durcan made his initial order that Mr Mahony of Shalee Drive, Cloughleigh, Ennis attend the classes last November and allocated €200 from the court Poor Box in December to help fund the classes following a request from Mr Hassett for some Poor Box monies towards the classes.
Mr Mahony had previously told the court he was unable to leave his home because of a dispute with another person.
The youth is before the court in relation to a string of offences that he has pleaded guilty to including thefts in Ennis and north Clare including the unauthorised taking of a bike.
In court yesterday, Judge Durcan said that Mr Mahony’s “problem was that he was afraid to go down the town because the big drug barons were there and they were bigger than he was”.
The judge went on: “I said ‘right, he better get on with a self-defence course’ . Inspector Tom Kennedy didn’t agree with that order at all.”
Judge Durcan added: “Mr Mahony is now under way in relation to something which may make him slightly more confident.”
At the previous court date where he ordered the self defence classes for the youth, Judge Durcan said: “I hope Inspector Kennedy won’t be rueing the day we did this,” and in response, Insp Kennedy said: “It’s certainly a new departure.”
On the classes on the previous court date, Judge Durcan told Mr Mahony: “We might want an exhibition.”
In court yesterday, Insp Kennedy told Judge Durcan: “The news is good — there have been no new incidents.”
In response to Judge Durcan asking ‘the order appears to be working?’, Insp Kennedy replied: “It appears that it is and we might stick with it for a while yet.”
Mr Hassett said that the kick boxing programme covers 25 sessions while adding that Mr Mahony is also attending Sláinte on Monday nights to deal with his drug problem.
Insp Kennedy said that the matter could be put back to April 15 to see how Mr Mahony gets on.
Judge Durcan told Mr Mahony: “I want verification and proof that you have attended kick boxing and Sláinte.”
Adjourning the case to April 15 at Ennis District Court, Judge Durcan said: “I commend you on progress you have made — keep it up.”