Tuesday 19 March 2019

Mum 'saw red' as gardaí arrested son

Balbriggan District Court
Balbriggan District Court

Nicola Donnelly

A woman in her 60s, who assaulted three gardai while they were arresting her son, claimed she saw red and her 'maternal instincts' kicked in.

Mary Finnegan (63) 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.

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.

At a previous court sitting, the presiding judge Paula Murphy had ordered a pre-sentencing report.

However, as Judge Miriam Walsh was presiding in Balbriggan District Court last week when the report was due, she adjourned it until February 28 for the attention of Judge Murphy.

The court previously heard the defendant had 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.

The defendant, of St Catherine's Park in Rush 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 added.

He said the three gardai were 'not seriously injured' and were able to resume their duty at short time later.

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 had warned the defendant that the offences 'carry a headline sentence of 12 months'.

The Judge then ordered the pre-sentencing Probation Report before finalising the case.

Fingal Independent