Six-month term for obstructing gardaí

A six-month jail term was imposed yesterday on a Cork man for the part he played in the violent obstruction of gardaí trying to arrest a man at a crowded house.

Judge Con O’Leary imposed the sentence on Seán O’Neill of Ballygibbon, Blarney, Co Cork, who was living at the house on Brocklesby St, Cork, at the time of the incident there on July 24.

Judge O’Leary said he had to take into consideration the fact that a wanted person escaped from gardaí as a result of the actions of O’Neill and others.

O’Neill was jailed on the obstruction charge.

Counts of engaging in threatening behaviour and refusing to comply with a direction from gardaí to desist were taken into consideration.

Inspector King said the incident occurred at 9.40am in the morning when Garda Stephen O’Leary and garda colleagues called to execute a warrant for the arrest of a man who was at the house.

“A large number of people who were not officially resident there were present at the time,” said Inspector King. “They had been drinking heavily the previous night and it appeared that they were still under the influence of intoxicants. There was a lot of abuse and shouting of threats and so forth at gardaí.

“The person who was the subject of the warrant escaped from gardaí and sprinted from the house. He came back with a rock in his hand and threatened Garda O’Leary. Three other men were still present and they tried to prevent the gardaí from apprehending the man. Mr O’Neill was one of these three.”

O’Neill had 83 previous convictions. Frank Buttimer, solicitor, asked Judge O’Leary to take account of his plea of guilty and his apology.

“In a situation where there was some difficulty there was group-think,” said Mr Buttimer. “That is not an excuse. He should have stayed out of it.”


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