Garda helps keep man who punched him out of jail

A member of An Garda Síochána was punched in the face in the course of a public order incident in Cork City and yesterday spoke up in favour of the accused when he was before Cork District Court.

Insp Eileen Foster said the incident at the centre of the case occurred on Grand Parade, Cork, on August 30, 2014, when gardaí approached an unruly group of youths. They were directed to leave the area.

Garda Daniel McEnery approached one of the people, Eric O’Sullivan, of 39A Derrynane Rd, Turner’s Cross, Cork, and directed him to leave the area.

O’Sullivan reacted by telling Garda McEnery to fuck off and punched him in the side of the head, Insp Foster said.

Judge Olann Kelleher said it was a serious matter. Insp Foster told the judge Garda McEnery had left the court as soon as the accused indicated he was going to plead guilty. The judge asked for the garda to return to court to help him deal with the case.

Garda McEnery returned to court and testified that the accused was sitting on the ground and directed to move off and O’Sullivan got up and said fuck off and punched him in the side of the head.

“He was very drunk. He didn’t know what he was doing. I was in plain clothes but I did clearly identify myself as a guard. I accept he didn’t know I was a guard,” the garda said.

Defence solicitor Donal Daly said O’Sullivan, 22, genuinely didn’t know there were gardaí present.

O’Sullivan said in his statement subsequently: “If I knew they were gardaí I wouldn’t have lashed out.” Judge Olann Kelleher put sentencing back until November 3 and told the accused: “You were at risk of prison until the guard said what he said.

“You are a lucky man the guard came back.”


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