independent

Sunday 21 April 2019

Jail may be avoided in garda assault

Nicola Donnelly

A woman in her early 60s, who assaulted three gardai while they were arresting her son, may avoid a conviction if she pays €250 to the Garda Benevolent Fund before the end of the month.

Mary Finnegan (63) will also be placed on a 12 month Peace Bond if she makes the donation when her case is due to be finalised on March 28.

The mother-of-two assaulted the three gardai as she claimed she saw red and her 'maternal instincts' kicked in.

She tried to interfere with the arrest of her son and kicked out at one

garda, struck another on the wrist and shin and struck a third officer in the back of the head in the early hours of August 6 last year.

She 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 and is 'very embarrassed' by her behaviour and 'couldn't believe' she behaved that way on the night,Balbriggan District Court previously heard.

The defendant, of St Catherine's Park in Rush, North County Dublin, pleaded guilty to assaulting Garda Aaron Shanahan, Garda Aidan O'Halloran and Garda Kevin Fitzpatrick on August 26, 2017 at Upper Main Street in Rush.

She has no previous convictions.

Sergeant Eoin McDonnell gave evidence that at 2am while Rush Harbour Festival was taking place, gardai attended Main Street in an attempt to arrest the defendant's son.

'The defendant then interfered with the arrest of her son and assaulted three gardai,' 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 gardai were 'not seriously injured' and were able to resume their duty at short time later.

At that court hearing defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said the 63-year-old, who has two sons aged 35 and 32, is 'very embarrassed'.

'She has prepared three letters of apology for the gardai which have been handed over to the sergeant,' she continued.

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 explained.

Ms D'Arcy said the defendant has 'worked all her life and retired at 60'.

'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,' she added.

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 until next year for finalisation.

At last week's sitting of Blanchardstown District Court where Judge Murphy was presiding, a positive Probation Report was handed into court.

Judge Murphy ordered that if the defendant pays €250 to the Garda Benevolent Fund she will place her on a 12 month Peace Bond by the end of the month.

Fingal Independent

News