Judge Orders Illegal Longford Wedding Party To Appear Before Court


The bridal party and organisers behind a wedding after-party in Co Longford, with over 100 guests, have been ordered to come before the courts to explain their decision to “flagrantly” breach public health guidelines. Judge Keenan Johnson issued the direction and said that he would hold a special sitting today to enable the parties to attend after an estimated crowd of 120 people attended a celebration on the outskirts of the town last week. Judge Johnson said he wanted to hear from each of the respective parties involved as to why the event proceeded just hours after an emergency circuit court injunction was granted to remove a 2,000 sq ft marquee which had been erected 24 hours earlier.

Judge Johnson said “It’s a complete insult to all young couples who have had to defer their weddings or scale them back to comply with Covid guidelines.” The court heard submissions last week from Niall Flynn, BL, for Longford County Council, who stated the local authority had done “everything within its remit” to prevent the gathering from taking place. He revealed there had been “concerns” expressed among the council’s own staff about the “potential atmosphere” they would face in pressing ahead with removing the structure. As a result, Mr Flynn said independent contractors from Blanchardstown were procured to dismantle the marquee but when they arrived on site at around 5pm a large number of wedding guests were already inside it.

Judge Johnson said he was prepared to hold a special court sitting in Longford today, ordering the bride and groom, their parents, the marquee owner and caterers to attend. “My primary concern is there has been a complete and absolute breach of the injunction that was made by this court and people have to be made to account for that, otherwise court orders lose their validity,” he said.