Election candidate 'lied through her teeth' about 'despicable behaviour' at roadside with gardaí - says judge
A judge has stated that a former general election candidate engaged in "despicable behaviour" with gardaí in a roadside incident where a garda suffered injuries to his hand.
Judge Patrick Durcan said that Niamh O'Brien "lied through her teeth" in the instructions she gave to her solicitor, Tara Godfrey, to defend the action.
Judge Durcan made his comments before imposing a suspended four-month jail term, fines totalling €2,100 and also banned mother-of-one Ms O'Brien (35) from driving for five years after convicting her of dangerous driving and the road traffic offences.
In the 2016 General Election in Clare, Ms O'Brien ran for Fís Nua and shared the ballot paper with Timmy Dooley and Minister for State Pat Breen.
On May 28 last year, Ms O'Brien, of Lake Isle, O'Callaghan's Mills in east Clare, was stopped by gardaí at Cutteen Cross, Cutteen, Tulla, Co Clare.However, Ms O'Brien refused to provide any documentation and reversed at speed in a bid to get away.
As she was doing so, Garda Declan Condon ran along side the reversing car, smashed the driver's window with his baton resulting in the garda suffering "horrific injuries" to his hand from flying glass.
In sentencing Ms O'Brien, Judge Durcan said: "Ms O'Brien's behaviour was despicable and simply reflects the growing trend on the part of a group of people in this country who believe that they can take on the forces of law and order and the gardaí."
He said: "She provided incorrect and deceitful instructions to her solicitor, Tara Godfrey, to defend the case. She lied through her teeth to Ms Godfrey saying that she didn't know who she was dealing with when stopped by the gardaí."
Ms O'Brien did not turn up for the case and she was sentenced in her absence.