Judge tells offender afraid of drug barons to take up kickboxing

Solicitor mentions Conor McGregor after hearing of client’s progress

A judge has ordered a young offender to take kickboxing classes to overcome his fear of local drug barons.

At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan said that he wished to commend 18-year Ethan Mahony after hearing that the youth has already attended two court ordered kickboxing classes.

The progress of Mr Mahony’s kickboxing prompted his solicitor, Daragh Hassett to quip ‘Conor McGregor’ as Mr Mahony told Judge Durcan that he has started to attend the local kickboxing 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 monies towards the classes.


Mr Mahony had previously told the court that he was unable to leave his home because of a dispute with another person.

The youth pleaded guilty to thefts in Ennis and north Clare including the unauthorised taking of a bike. In court, Judge Durcan said 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 underway 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, 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 kickboxing programme covers 25 sessions while adding that Mr Mahony is also attending Slainte on Monday nights to deal with his drug problem.

Insp Kennedy said that the matter could be put back to April 15th to see how Mr Mahony gets on. Judge Durcan told Mr Mahony: “I want verification and proof that you have attended kick boxing and Slainte.

Adjourning the case to April 15th at Ennis District Court, Judge Durcan said: “I commend you on progress you have made - keep it up.”

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times