Man jailed after mob confronted gardaí

A violent mob wearing balaclavas led by a 58-year-old grandmother tried to stop gardaí taking possession of a car involved in a high-speed incident in Rathkeale, a court has heard.

Michael Ryan, aged 25, of 7 Fairgreen, Rathkeale, was yesterday jailed for 18 months at Limerick Circuit Court for violent disorder and threatening to kill two gardaí on June 7, 2013.

Garda Tom Flavin told the court gardaí went to Fair Hill to investigate a suspicious shed fire on June 7, 2013. They came on an English- registered Ford Mondeo, which was travelling at speed. On stopping this car, men wearing balaclavas got out and confronted gardaí.

The men got back into the car which reversed and crashed into a gateway where it got stuck. The men in the car then retreated into the Ryan home.

The mother of the accused, Bridget Ryan, emerged from the house accompanied by a large group. Michael Ryan went “nose to nose” with one of the gardaí and threatened to kill him. The situation was so hostile, gardaí had to move back and call for backup assistance.

One man drove a car at the Garda car as they tried to take possession of the Ford Mondeo and the gardaí feared for their safety.

Bridget Ryan was one of the main protagonists and instigators in trying to prevent gardaí take possession of the Ford Mondeo.

Following his arrest, Michael Ryan got High Court bail and fled to England. While there he was jailed for a burglary. On his release, he was extradited to Ireland.

Passing sentence yesterday, Judge Tom O’Donnell said the situation in which the gardaí found themselves was very explosive.

Bridget Ryan, the mother of the accused, he said, was the main spark who lit the fuse.

He jailed Michael Ryan for three years with the final 18 months suspended.

Bridget Ryan and another son have already been dealt with by the court in connection with the incident.


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