Tuesday 17 September 2019

Mother 'saw red' and assaulted gardaí who were arresting her son

(Stock image)
(Stock image)

Nicola Donnelly

A woman has told a court she saw red and her 'maternal instincts' kicked in when three gardaí tried to arrest her son.

Mary Finnegan (63) tried to interfere with the arrest of her son and kicked out at one garda, hit another on the wrist and shin, and struck a third officer in the back of the head in the early hours of August 6.

The mother of two claimed she had been taking prescribed sleeping tablets and went out for the evening and only had one drink - causing her to react the way she did.

She worked all her life but retired three years ago, is "very embarrassed" and "couldn't believe" she behaved that way on the night, Balbriggan District Court heard.

The defendant, of St Catherine's Park in Rush, North County Dublin, pleaded guilty to assaulting Garda Arron Shanahan, Garda Aidan O'Halloran and Garda Kevin Fitzpatrick on August 26 last at Upper Main Street in Rush. She has no previous convictions.

Sergeant Eoin McDonnell gave evidence that gardaí attended Main Street at approximately 2am in an attempt to arrest the defendant's son.

"The defendant then interfered with the arrest of her son and assaulted three gardaí," said Sgt McDonnell.

"She kicked out at one garda, struck another on the wrist and shin and struck a third garda in the back of the head."

He said the three gardaí were "not seriously injured" and were able to resume their duties a short time later.

Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said her client, who has two sons aged 35 and 32, is "very embarrassed".

"She has prepared three letters of apology for the gardaí which have been handed over to the sergeant," she added.

Ms D'Arcy said the defendant went out on the night to socialise but had been taking prescribed sleeping tablets and "only had one drink".

"Because of the way her son was behaving he was arrested. She saw red and her maternal instincts kicked in," Ms D'Arcy said.

The defendant has "worked all her life and retired at 60," she added.

"She couldn't believe the way she behaved in the way she did. She is normally a peaceful citizen and her retirement has been destroyed by this for the past 15 months."

Judge Paula Murphy warned the defendant that the offences "carry a headline sentence of 12 months" and ordered a pre-sentencing probation report before adjourning the case to next year.

Irish Independent

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