Psychiatrist bit two gardaí, court hears

A consultant psychiatrist employed by the HSE appeared in court yesterday charged with assaulting two gardaí and a pub worker and being drunk in a public place.

Dr Seamus Ó Flaithbheartaigh, aged 51, stated through his solicitor that he would not be contesting the charges, which arose following his arrest during a night out with colleagues.

He is charged with assaulting Garda Jamie Rigney and Garda Margaret O’Brien, both Mayorstone Garda Station.

He is also charged with assaulting Trevor Guidera, staff, Nancy Blakes pub, Denmark St, Limerick, and with being drunk in a public place.

Outlining the alleged facts of the case, St Donal Cronin, Henry Street garda station, said Dr Ó Flaithbheartaigh had bitten Garda O’Brien and Garda Rigney outside Nancy Blake’s in the early hours of July 7, 2012.

“At around 1am Garda O’Brien and Garda Rigney observed a male irate and highly agitated. He was being restrained by a number of persons outside Nancy Blakes pub on Denmark Street,” Sgt Cronin told Limerick District Court.

Dr Ó Flaithbheartaigh, of Caiseal Mara, Annaco-tty, Limerick, is charged with biting the two on-duty gardaí on their hands as they proceeded to arrest him on suspicion of being drunk in a public place.

“Margaret O’Brien had a bite to her left hand. The skin was broken. She received treatment at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital. Garda Rigney also suffered a bite to his hand. It was less serious but he also had to receive treatment. A staff member was also assaulted and received a bite to his hand while assisting gardaí in the arrest.”

He told the court that Dr Ó Flaithbheartaigh was “highly intoxicated, aggressive, agitated, and very un co-operative”.

“He also refused to give his personal details to gardaí at the scene and later at the Garda station. In fairness to him, as soon as he came to his sober senses he was very apologetic for his actions.”

Solicitor Darragh McCarthy, who sought an adjournment so he could “prepare character references”, said he had indicated to the State before yesterday’s court hearing “that these matters will not be contested”.

When a date was fixed by the court for Mar 27, Mr McCarthy said Dr Ó Flaithbheartaigh would be “out of the country from Mar 13 to the end of April”.

Judge Aeneus McCarthy told Mr McCarthy: “The fact he is out of the country is not the court’s concern.

“He should be in the country if he’s requested to be here by the court.”

Mr McCarthy said his client was “not a flight risk” and had “family commitments” abroad during March and April.

Judge McCarthy agreed to adjourn the matter to Mar 27 for mention, when a date will be fixed to hear mitigation.

He excused Dr Ó Flaithbheartaigh’s attendance in court to allow him attend his family commitments overseas.


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