Saturday 16 December 2017

Career 'in tatters' no matter the outcome

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

AS a teenager, it was her dream to one day wear the blue uniform.

Martha McEnery hit rock bottom as she sat in the dock in Waterford Circuit Court on Monday awaiting her fate.

Her career is "in tatters", trial judge Leonie Reynolds said, no matter what decision is made by the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan on her future.

If she is stripped of her badge, it will not be McEnery's decision as she has firmly indicated her "deepest desire" is to remain a garda.

She still lists An Garda Siochana as her employers on her Facebook page.

The Garda Siochana was not recruiting when McEnery finished school in Colaiste Ide in Co Kerry in 1987. She attended UCD but never gave up on her ambition of becoming a garda.

By 1997, McEnery finally joined the force, at the age of 28.

She first served in Dun Laoghaire but later moved to Togher and Carrigaline in Co Cork, before her promotion to the rank of sergeant in Waterford.

During the trial, the court heard how McEnery crouched down beside Anthony Holness, after he was pepper-sprayed by Garda Daniel Hickey.

The jury heard that McEnery struck Mr Holness once while he was lying on the ground and then delivered a succession of blows. McEnery's defence counsel stated that she did not accept that she went beyond using acceptable force.

However, Judge Reynolds blasted McEnery's behaviour as "unjustifiable".

Irish Independent

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