A bench warrant was issued yesterday for the arrest of a 52-year-old man convicted of painting graffiti on headstones at a republican plot in St Finbarr’s Cemetery in Cork.
David Cooper, aged 52, who lives at an apartment at 7 Southern Rd, Cork, had sentencing in his case adjourned to Cork District Court yesterday.
Michael Quinlan, defending, said there was to have been a psychiatric report on the accused but none was yet available.
The court was told that Cooper was required to be present, but was not. An application was made for a warrant for his arrest, which Judge Olann Kelleher duly issued.
Cooper’s case was listed yesterday for the accused to be sentenced on a charge of causing criminal damage by writing graffiti on headstones at the cemetery on March 28/29, 2014.
Evidence was given previously that the graffiti was daubed on to the headstones shortly before the Easter commemorations.
An aggravating factor in the case was that the name of a HSE official with whom Cooper had previously worked was daubed on the headstones with the offending graffiti and his phone number was also painted on.
Inspector John Deasy said previously that the man whose name appeared with the graffiti on the headstones at St Finbarr’s cemetery had nothing to do with the matter. This man, who was not named in court yesterday, has since moved out of his house in fear as a result.
The HSE official received a call from Sinn Féin members who saw the graffiti asking him if he had a problem with the republican plot in the cemetery.
This HSE official went to the cemetery where he met with members of Sinn Féin and he assisted in removing the graffiti, which Cooper is now convicted of putting on the headstones.
Previously Cooper stated he had spent two days drinking vodka and cider and not taking his prescribed medication and that this created problems. He said drinking like that was totally out of character for him.
Mr Cooper’s solicitor, Frank Buttimer, said: “There had been animus between himself [Cooper] and the HSE person. Mr Cooper harboured some resentment and no doubt he did what he did against that background.”
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