A solicitor conceded there was a “certain amount of misdirected religious zeal” when prayer meetings and counselling led to the harassment of a female American preacher by a Kerry woman.
Hanora Daly, aged 45, from The Lodge, Stoneleigh Cottage, Ballycasheen, Killarney, admitted harassing the preacher, Lora Malloy, on dates unknown between January 1, 2012, and June 12, 2015.
Ms Malloy told Killarney District Court the harassment included “yelling” outside her town centre residence along with texts, calls, and claims by the accused she was fraudulent. Social media had also been used.
Sgt Kieran O’Connell said on one particular day, some 122 calls had been made, forcing Ms Malloy to disengage her voicemail and her phone.
The preacher, involved in Christian ministry, had been invited to speak at Catholic and Christian gatherings all over Ireland.
However, her quality of life had completely declined as a result of the harassment, she stated.
Sgt O’Connell said contact between the parties began through the prayer meetings and there had also been some counselling.
“The accused would call saying she wanted help but it went beyond that and got to the stage of harassment,” the sergeant said.
Solicitor Padraig O’Connell, for Ms Daly, said his client had made full admissions when charged.
“There was a certain amount of misdirected religious zeal involved,” he said.
His client “rightly or wrongly” felt there was “a certain amount of hypocrisy” and she took it into her own hands to tackle it.
Oklahoma-born Ms Malloy told Judge James O’Connor there had been “incessant harassment” which progressed to become “extremely frightening and caused a lot of stress and anxiety”.
Ms Daly would be outside her residence in High St “yelling my name”, said Ms Malloy.
“Very disturbing text messages were being sent,” the preacher said.
Her phone, she said, was used for ministry purposes.
“I play golf. And she started to contact people on social media I play golf with,” she claimed.
Judge O’Connor asked if there had been threats, and was told “no”.
Ms Malloy said the defendant was accusing her of being “fraudulent” and had also been “beating” on her car.
“My quality of life in Ireland and in Kerry completely declined,” said Ms Malloy, who has lived in Killarney for six years.
She also suffered temporary vision loss.
A medical report was presented to court by Ms Daly’s solicitor.
Judge O’Connor remanded Ms Daly on continuing bail until December 2017 and ordered her to “stay completely out of High St” where Ms Malloy resides.
There could be no communication, the judge said and indicated there was liberty for the prosecution to apply to the court to re-enter the case.
The judge told Mr O’Connell if Ms Daly had to come to court again, there could be certain consequences for her.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved