At Ennis Circuit Court, Shanley, aged 36, said: “I am in a situation for the first time in my life that when I do get released, I have nothing over my head and I can move on with my life which is all I want to do.”
In court, Judge Carroll Moran imposed a three-year suspended jail term on Shanley, concerning an incident where he drove a stolen Black BMW with a garda on top of the bonnet for 500m.
The un-uniformed garda, Sgt Joe Fallon, gave chase to Shanley who fled before Sgt Fallon finally caught up with him a number of fields away.
The arrest of Shanley on Mar 2, in East Clare last year was the culmination of a nationwide search that lasted two years.
The Co Roscommon man pleaded guilty to taking a car without the owner’s consent; driving in a dangerous manner; giving a misleading statement to gardaí and not stopping the car as required by a garda.
Previously, Shanley had turned himself in, shortly after phoning Joe Duffy’s Liveline show on RTÉ Radio.
The records show Shanley has appeared on various offences at courts in Nenagh, Clifden, Killaloe, Ennis, Longford, Athy, Killarney, Clonmel, Bandon, Sligo, Cavan, Carrickmacross, Fermoy, Mallow, Bantry, Donegal, Tipperary, Castleblaney, Shannon, Dublin, Listowel, Kilkee, Clonakilty and Strokestown.
In court yesterday, Shanley said he has been in and out of prison since 2006 but is now under the care of psychiatrist, Tim O’Higgins in Cork prison.
“I am making progress. I have handed myself into garda stations in the past. I just want to move on with my life.” He is currently serving a prison term to Jan 2014 and he told the court: “I am sorry for what happened.”
He said he did not realise that Sgt Fallon was a garda as he wasn’t wearing his uniform.
“I was frightened and I’m sure the garda who was on the car was frightened. It is not going to happen again,” he said.
Shanley said he called 999 because he did not know what was happening. Garda Gerry Slattery told the court that he asked Shanley to stop driving and fired a rock at a window in the car to bring it to a halt.
Counsel for Shanley, Enda O’Neill BL, told the court he takes from a psychiatric assessment of Shanley that “when he is stable psychiatrically, his legal problems decrease significantly”.
“There is a relationship between offending behaviour and psychological difficulties and he is trying to rebuild his life.”
Judge Moran backdated the sentence to September when Shanley first pleaded guilty and ordered it to run concurrently to his current sentence.