Man, 62, charged with attack on partner

A man has been remanded in custody with consent to bail after being charged yesterday with a knife attack on his partner which left her with 14 wounds.

Patrick O’Rourke, aged 62, with an address at 38 Cooline Drive, Ballyvaloon, in Cobh, Co Cork, was brought before Clonakilty District Court where he was charged with assault causing harm to Donna Foster, at the same address on Tuesday, August 11, contrary to Section 3 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

He was poised to be released on bail with several conditions, which included staying away from the family home and its occupants, but could not supply gardaí with a new address. Detective Garda Michael Dillane told Judge Timothy Lucey that he arrested Mr Rourke at 10.57am on Tuesday, charged him at 5.45pm on Wednesday, and that Mr O’Rourke made no reply to the charge.

Inspector Gerry Lacey said gardaí accepted that Mr O’Rourke has no previous convictions or bench warrants. However, he said gardaí would be objecting to bail and seeking a remand in custody given the seriousness of the charge, and amid concerns that there may be interference with witnesses.

Det Garda Dillane said the injured party, who remains in a serious but stable condition in Cork University Hospital, suffered 14 separate wounds during the alleged assault, has undergone one major operation, and may require more.

A Garda file has been submitted to the DPP and more serious charges may follow, he said.

Det Garda Dillane said he had concerns about potential interference with witnesses, which could be interpreted as intimidation.

Defence solicitor Ray Hennessy applied for bail for his client and said: “The court is being asked to accept the evidence of Det Garda Dillane that he [Mr O’Rourke] may interfere with witnesses, based on conversations he’s had over the last 48 hours.”

He also objected to the bail condition which required Mr O’Rourke to cease operating as a taxi driver, given the alleged assault was a domestic matter, and that it was his only way of making a living.

However, Judge Lucey said bail conditions often impact negatively on those before the courts, and said Mr O’Rourke could appeal this order to the High Court.

He said the only argument the State had put forward objecting to bail was that Mr O’Rourke might interfere with witnesses. “He has a constitutional right to his liberty,” the judge said.

Mr O’Rourke, who gave an undertaking that he would not interfere with witnesses, was set to be released, but was unable to provide an alternative address.

Judge Lucey subsequently remanded him in custody with consent to bail to appear before Clonakilty District Court next Thursday.


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