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Mum (63) in attack on gardai blames 'maternal instincts'


Mum-of-two Mary Finnegan

Mum-of-two Mary Finnegan

Mum-of-two Mary Finnegan

A 63-year-old woman who assaulted three gardai while they were arresting her son said she saw red and her "maternal instincts" kicked in.

Mary Finnegan kicked out at one garda, struck another on the wrist and shin, and struck a third officer on the back of the head.

The mother-of-two said she had been taking prescribed sleeping tablets and went out for the evening but had only one drink - causing her to react the way she did.

She had worked all her life but retired three years ago and was "very embarrassed" by her behaviour, Balbriggan District Court heard.

The defendant, of St Catherine's Park, Rush, north Co Dublin, pleaded guilty to assaulting Garda Arron Shanahan, Garda Aidan O'Halloran and Garda Kevin Fitzpatrick on August 26, 2017, at Upper Main Street in Rush. She had no previous convictions.

Sergeant Eoin McDonnell gave evidence that at 2am, while Rush Harbour Festival was taking place, gardai attended Main Street to arrest Finnegan'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."

The officers were "not seriously injured" and were able to resume duty a short time later.

Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said her client, who has two sons aged 35 and 32, was "very embarrassed".

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

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," she said.

"She couldn't believe 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."

Judge Paula Murphy warned Finnegan that the offences "carry a headline sentence of 12 months", and ordered a probation report before adjourning the case until next year for sentencing.