Dublin People

Man jailed after he threatened to kill a garda and their family

By Eimear Dodd

A man who threatened to kill a garda and their family while drunk has been handed a 14-month jail term.

Gary O’Brien (24) of Old Connaught View, Bray, Wicklow pleaded guilty to two charges of threatening to kill or cause serious harm at Shanganagh Park, Shankill on September 21, 2021.

He also pleaded guilty to causing damage to a garda car on the same date, during a sitting of Dublin Circuit Court yesterday.

The court was told that Shankill Garda Station received a call about a man acting suspiciously outside Crinken Church and later at Shanganagh Cemetery car park.

Garda Matthew Firran gave evidence that he and a colleague observed the defendant behind a car and then O’Brien threw an object over a wall.

O’Brien was initially reluctant to speak to gardai, then said he “burglars old ones, not cars”.

The defendant became abusive and aggressive.

He threatened to follow gardai home, kill them and their families.

O’Brien was put into a garda car, where he caused damage to a window.

He was taken to Dun Laoghaire Garda Station, and was initially deemed unfit to be questioned as he was in an intoxicated state.

O’Brien later claimed he had been playing hurling in Shanganagh Park and was looking for a sliotar.

He accepted that he had been abusive, but made no admissions and denied threatening gardai.

Judge Martin Nolan was told O’Brien had 74 previous convictions.

Eoin Gallagher BL, for the defence, said O’Brien was the father of two young children and had been in custody on these charges since September 29, 2021.

O’Brien had left school at 15 and has been diagnosed with ADHD.

He had spent his time in custody on these charges attempting to deal with addiction issues and had been in contact with agencies which could support his recovery.

Mr Gallagher told the court that O’Brien had suffered a significant bereavement in the months prior to this incident.

Judge Nolan said O’Brien’s behaviour had been “reprehensible” and he had threatened gardai in a serious way.

While Judge Nolan accepted O’Brien’s threats were not of an insidious nature, however, he had been aggressive towards gardai who “should not have to endure that”.

He imposed a 14-month jail term backdated to when the defendant entered custody, with the criminal damage charge taken into consideration.

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