Thursday 18 July 2019

Father-of-one who crashed into gates of British Embassy was 'off his medication', court hears

The British Embassy on Merrion Road. Photo: Google Maps
The British Embassy on Merrion Road. Photo: Google Maps

Brion Hoban

A father-of-one who crashed into the gates of the British Embassy was “off his medication” at the time of the collision, a court has heard.

Eric Hogan (33) with an address at Harbour View, Canal Side, Athy, Co Kildare, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to criminal damage at the British Embassy, Merrion Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin, on June 9, 2018.

Garda Declan Dunne told Barry Ward BL, prosecuting, that on the night in question he was on duty outside the embassy when he saw a grey Peugeot car drive in front of and collide with the outer gates.

Gda Dunne said that Hogan was shouting when he drove into the gates “but not making sense”. He saw him exit the car and thought he was intoxicated due to slurring his speech.

The embassy's outer gates were knocked off their rails by the collision. The total cost of repairing the gates was €33,500 plus VAT.

Gda Dunne agreed with Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, that Hogan took umbrage at the suggestion that he had been drinking. He told gardaí that he never drinks and drives due to his uncle having been killed by a drink driver when he was aged 22.

Mr Le Vert said his client was “off his medication” at the time of the incident and that he was grappling with psychiatric issues. He said Hogan did not know where he was when he was remanded in custody and thought he was in an asylum.

He said his client had a “spotty memory” of the crash and was mortified with his actions. Hogan has five previous convictions for public order offences and he lives with eight year old son for whom he is his sole carer.

Judge Pauline Codd ordered a psychiatric report and adjourned the matter for sentencing on April 12, 2019.

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