A judge has jailed a man who told a female garda he would have a 'widow's curse' put on her after she stopped him on the road last May.
At Ennis District Court yesterday, Judge Patrick Durcan imposed an eight-month prison term on Martin Joyce (28) after stating that the Ennis man had imposed a 'lurid curse' on Garda Elizabeth McDonagh on May 18 last at Beechpark, Ennis, Co Clare.
Judge Durcan said Joyce, of St Enda's, Beechpark, Ennis, had issued a 'torrent of abuse' towards Gda McDonagh.
He said the evidence of Gda McDonagh in the case "is truly chilling".
"When the abuse wasn't having an effect from Mr Joyce's point of view, Mr Joyce in great detail imposed a curse on Gda McDonagh," said the judge.
"Most people would be upset by the curse of the lurid, vivid and appalling nature that was uttered by Mr Joyce."
In the witness box, Gda McDonagh recounted Mr Joyce's words about the curse.
She said: "Judge, Mr Joyce told me 'I am putting a curse on you. I will light a candle that your family will die and you will suffer grief in the next 12 months. When it happens, I will take pictures and send them to you and put them up for everyone to see. You will see within 12 months that your family or someone belonged to you will be dead. I am going to light a candle to give you the curse and I will get my mother to give you the widow's curse and they will all be dying belonged to you'."
Asked by Judge Durcan if she was upset over the words said, Gda McDonagh said: "This has never been said to me before."
In response, the judge said: "As far I am concerned this puts this case into a category of its own as regards the level of seriousness.
"There are many people who dismiss that type of behaviour as falling into the realm of the piseog and the world of the past but there are many, many people who become gravely upset when something like that happens."
Judge Durcan imposed a five-month prison term on Mr Joyce for obstructing a garda and a consecutive three-month term for driving without insurance on May 18 last.
Judge Durcan also imposed a 10-week prison term for the verbal abuse of Gda McDonagh to run concurrently to the eight-month jail sentence.
Insp Tom Kennedy said that Mr Joyce has 68 previous convictions, including 45 road traffic offences that include three for no insurance, four for driving without a licence and two for dangerous driving.
Solicitor Tara Godfrey said she has been instructed by Mr Joyce to apologise to Gda McDonagh directly.