independent

Tuesday 18 June 2019

Rush mum admits to garda assault

Mother in her 60s pleads guilty to the assault of gardaí

Balbriggan District Court
Balbriggan District Court

Nicola Donnelly

A woman in her early 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.

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 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.

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.

At the District Court sitting, Judge Paula Murphy warned the defendant that the offences involved in the case 'carry a headline sentence of 12 months', and ordered a pre-sentencing Probation Report before adjourning the case until next year for finalisation.

Fingal Independent

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