Saturday 23 September 2017

Judge will rule on whether to accept jurisdiction on Garda alleged assault case

Garda Brian Hanrahan at court. Photo: Tony Gavin
Garda Brian Hanrahan at court. Photo: Tony Gavin
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A District Court judge will rule next week on whether to accept jurisdiction in the case of a Garda charged with assaulting two young women.

Judge Elizabeth MacGrath adjourned the case against Garda Brian Hanrahan (34) after his defence team said they require another week to consider all material received from Gardai.

Sergeant Michael Keating said Gardai were consenting to the matter being further adjourned.

He confirmed that all statements and related materials have now been disclosed to the defence team.

Judge MacGrath said she will hear an outline of the case next week and decide whether she accepts jurisdiction in the matter.

Garda Hanrahan attended today's hearing but did not address the court.

The scene of the 2015 shooting near the intersection of New Orleans Street and North Tonti Street. Inset: Garda Brian Hanrahan
The scene of the 2015 shooting near the intersection of New Orleans Street and North Tonti Street. Inset: Garda Brian Hanrahan

The young Garda of Newcastlewest, Co Limerick was charged on October 6 before Nenagh District Court with two alleged assaults contrary to Section 3 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Persons Act.

He made headlines last year when he was shot during an attempted robbery while he was on holidays in the US.

Garda Hanrahan was shot in the back and leg by an assailant who confronted him as he attempted to withdraw $200 from an ATM machine in New Orleans.

He underwent emergency surgery before recovering and being able to resume work in Limerick.

The Garda now faces two charges in relation to an alleged incident last February in Nenagh, Co Tipperary.

The court was previously told that Garda Hanrahan made no reply when the charges were formally put to him after caution at Nenagh Garda Station where he attended by appointment.

Det Inspector Pat O'Callaghan told Judge MacGrath that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) indicated the matters can be dealt with summarily at district court level.

However, Judge MacGrath must accept jurisdiction in the matter.

Defence solicitor Daniel O'Gorman previously said his client was eager for the matter to be dealt with as expeditiously as possible.

The State said they had no issue with Garda Hanrahan being remanded on continuing bail.

He was remanded until next week when Judge MacGrath will rule on whether the case is heard in Nenagh District Court or Nenagh Circuit Court.

As is routine in such cases, Mr Hanrahan was told not to attempt any contact or interference with the witnesses in the case.

The garda made no comment as he left the courthouse following the brief hearing.

After his shooting in the US last year, major fundraising events were staged both in Ireland and the US to support the young garda with his medical costs.

In June of this year, Garda Hanrahan was awarded more than €36,000 compensation for injuries he suffered while chasing criminals almost six years ago.

His neck, shoulder and lower back were injured in October 2010 when a garda car in which he was a front-seat passenger was rammed following a car chase on the Limerick-Mallow Road.

In the High Court in Dublin on June 27, barrister Michael P Binchy told Mr Justice Bernard Barton that the officer was in a garda car chasing a stolen vehicle when it was rammed.

He subsequently suffered pain in his shoulder, neck and back.

In evidence, Garda Hanrahan said following the Limerick incident he initially felt no pain, but after the effects of adrenalin had worn off he felt pain in his neck, shoulder and particularly in his lower back.

He had been treated with analgesics and anti-inflammatory medication.

Later an MRI scan revealed he suffered soft tissue injuries.

Although his shoulder and neck injuries cleared up, the pain in his back remained.

The former hurler and footballer retired from his favourite sports less than a year after the ramming incident, but told the court he had been approaching the end of his sporting career anyway.

He was out of work for more than two months before initially returning to light duties.

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