Cork recluse living in container made 999 ‘kidnap’ call

A man living a reclusive existence in a container in East Cork made an anonymous 999 call claiming to have kidnapped a woman at gunpoint on New Year’s Eve and yesterday he was released from jail.

Paul Houlihan, aged 46, made the 999 call and the armed regional support unit was among the garda units that rushed to Barryscourt, Co Cork, as the mobile phone call appeared to have come from that area, Detective Sergeant Séan Leahy said.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin remanded Houlihan in custody after the sentencing hearing three weeks ago at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

The judge recalled yesterday that this was a case where the defendant was in total social isolation.

“I want you to co-operate with probation service and you didn’t do that before. You don’t want to go to a hostel. That can only happen if you co-operate with probation,” the judge said.

The defendant said: “I will do it this time.”

Judge Ó Donnabháin put sentencing back to June 10 to allow time for the accused to do so.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said the accused had a bi-polar diagnosis but appeared to have been left to care in the community which the judge explained was a case of nobody caring for him at all.

James O’Mahony, defending, said the accused had been living rough from the age of 15


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