Two gardai charged with pepper spray attack on teenager
TWO gardai have been charged with assault after allegedly pepper-spraying a teenager while he was incapacitated.
Garda Brendan Dowling and Garda Fiona Sheehan both appeared before Cork District Court yesterday, charged with assault causing harm to the teenager.
The charge relates to an alleged incident at Cook Street in Cork city centre on May 12, 2012.
Both gardai, who have addresses care of Angelsea Street garda station, attended the brief hearing but did not address the court.
The complainant, who is now 17 and cannot be identified, also attended the hearing but did not speak during the brief proceedings.
"The allegation is that the injured party was pepper-sprayed while incapacitated.
"There were no significant physical injuries," Frank Nyhan, for the State, told the court.
No details of the incapacitation involved were given, nor any details of the injuries sustained.
Judge Olann Kelleher heard that the case will not be ready to proceed for some time.
In light of the lack of serious physical injuries involved, he accepted jurisdiction in the matter.
Frank Buttimer, who is representing Gda Sheehan, said both defendants would be vehemently contesting the charge and pleading not guilty.
The prosecution is brought contrary to Section 3 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Persons Act.
Both defendants want the earliest possible hearing date so they can meet the allegation against them.
"They are very anxious to confront these matters as early as possible," Mr Buttimer said.
He applied for copies of all garda witness statements and related material.
Mr Nyhan said that "a significant amount is involved in that disclosure".
As a result, he said it would not be possible to fix a date for hearing the case at the present time.
Judge Kelleher listed the case for mention before Cork District Court on October 16 next.
Both of the gardai immediately left the court at the conclusion of the two-minute hearing.
The duo were both casually dressed.