17-year-old punched garda over 'marriage pressure'

A 17-year-old boy punched a garda because he was “under pressure” after eloping with and marrying a girl against her parents' wishes, a court has heard.

The teenager pleaded guilty at the Children's Court today to public order offences, for engaging in a breach of the peace and failing to leave the vicinity in a peaceful manner, in Coolock, in north Dublin, on April 13 last. A charge for attacking the garda was withdrawn by the prosecution.

Garda Martin Fahy told the court that gardaí stopped the teenager driving a van on suspicion that he did not have motor insurance.

“He became aggressive and abusive, was causing a scene in front of several members of the public,” the garda said.

He added that a female garda was “struck in the chest causing her to be winded.”

Garda Fahy agreed with defence solicitor Joseph Coonan that the teen had insurance to drive the van and did not have any criminal convictions.

Judge Ann Ryan heard that around the time of the incident the Traveller boy, had “eloped to Scotland, had got married.”

His young wife's family, who are not members of the Travelling community, are “not happy” with the marriage and will not talk to her.

The young couple did not have anywhere to live and have to reside with the defendant's family.

Mr Coonan said that at the time of the incident his client was “under pressure” and “very frustrated.”

Pleading for leniency, the solicitor also said his client was apologetic and took the case very seriously.

Judge Ryan sought a pre-sentence probation report and adjourned the case until a date in July.

The boy, who was accompanied to his case by his father, was remanded on bail.

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