Friday 22 September 2017

Man charged over 13-hour gun siege appears in court

Detective Garda Pauline McDonagh escorts Michael O'Connor to a special sitting of Sligo District Court
Detective Garda Pauline McDonagh escorts Michael O'Connor to a special sitting of Sligo District Court

Greg Harkin

A JUDGE has ordered a psychiatric assessment on a suspect charged in connection with a gun incident during a stand-off with gardai.

Michael O'Connor, from Nolmar, Scardenmore, Strandhill Road, Sligo, appeared at a special sitting of the town's district court to face one charge of possession of a single- barrel shotgun with intent to endanger life.

Relatives of the 30-year-old wept at the back of the court as Mr O'Connor sat listening to proceedings during the five-minute hearing yesterday.

Detective Sergeant Connell Lee told Judge Kevin Kilrane that when he arrested and charged the suspect at Sligo garda station on Sunday night the accused man said he had nothing to say.

The court appearance followed a barricaded incident at Scardenmore on Saturday which ended after a 13-hour siege.

Superintendent Mary Murray told the court that gardai objected to bail as they believed Mr O'Connor was a flight risk. She said the accused man was single, unemployed, homeless and had no strong family ties in the area.

Defence solicitor Mark Mullaney said his client was not making a bail application, and asked that Mr O'Connor be given a psychiatric medical assessment at Castlerea Prison.

Supt Murray said gardai were aware that Mr O'Connor had been in contact with the mental health services in the past, but added: "We are not aware of any significant mental health issues."

Judge Kilrane remanded Mr O'Connor in custody to appear again at Harristown District Court on Friday.

He ordered that Mr O'Connor be given a psychiatric assessment whilst in custody.

Irish Independent

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