Man pleads guilty to violent carjacking in which victim's car was dumped in sea

Man pleads guilty to violent carjacking in which victim's car was dumped in sea

By David Raleigh

A man has pleaded guilty to a violent carjacking in which it is alleged he struck a female motorist on her head and dumped her car in the sea.

Ray McDonagh (aged 28), admitted assault causing harm, to Carolann Keenehan, at or near the Brothers of Charity, Mulgrave Street, Limerick, on June 12, 2016.

McDonagh, who was arraigned at Limerick Circuit Court, Tuesday, also pleaded guilty to unlawfully seizing control of Ms Carolann's red Nissan Qashqai on the same date.

During a district court bail hearing regarding the matter last year, gardaí alleged McDonagh, with an address at Ard Alainn, Bruree, struck Ms Carolann on her head with a crutch before driving off in her SUV with her inside the vehicle.

Gardaí told the hearing the vehicle was recovered, 12 hours later, submerged in the sea at Quilty, Co Clare.

Detective Garda Barry O'Grady alleged during the hearing, that McDonagh approached Ms Keenehan around 8am and assaulted her before driving away with the "terrified" injured party in the car.

Dtc O'Grady said McDonagh allowed Ms Keenehan to get out of the vehicle at the Ballysimon Roundabout after "she pleaded with him" to let her go.

McDonagh was allegedly seen on security cameras at the Limerick Tunnel driving the SUV and paying a toll to cross into Co Clare.

McDonagh was arrested afterwards at Greenhills Road, Garryowen, Limerick.

Det O'Grady objected to bail describing the incident as "extremely serious".

"Someone could have been seriously injured," he told the court.

McDonagh's solicitor, John Herbert, said he had been seriously injured in a separate incident in which he was "dragged by a car" which "tore large chunks off his body".

During the bail hearing, McDonagh broke down a number of times.

As he wept in court, judge Mary Larkin told him to "behave like an adult".

She told McDonagh: "You're like a 16-year old who got caught with his hands in the cookie jar...Now pull yourself together."

She also told him: "I can assure you, your crying doesn't cut any mustard in my court."

Bail was granted on condition that €3,000 of a €6,000 independent surety be lodged.

McDonagh was ordered to stay away from the victim and sign on twice a day at Bruff garda station.

At his Circuit Court arraignment, Tuesday, McDonagh, who did not take up bail, was remanded in continuing custody to appear before the Circuit Court for sentence on July 27.


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