Mediator appointed to stem inter-Muslim violence in Longford

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A district court judge has appointed a mediator to resolve a dispute between Muslims at a Longford mosque that led to violence last summer and an allegation that a sectarian attack was going to be launched.

Judge Seamus Hughes made the order at a special sitting of the district court in Longford this morning.

Seven members of the Muslim community appeared before the court charged with assault and failing to desist from a fracas that took place at the mosque in Longford on 21 August 2015.

Judge Hughes was told by a Longford GP, Dr Ali, that the dispute arose between different members of the Muslim community in the Sunni and Shia groupings after a decision was made to remove the Imam from his post in summer 2015.

Dr Ali claimed the decision was made after the Imam had breached rules and formed a grouping that had led to general concerns that a sectarian attack could take place within the Muslim community.

Judge Hughes emphasised that if the defendants do not cooperate he would finalise the matter in January and if they were found guilty jail sentences of up to five months could be facing them.

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