Man carrying axe may have been trying to free girlfriend

A man armed with an axe on the grounds of a psychiatric hospital may have been planning to attempt the release of his girlfriend from a unit in the complex.

Man carrying axe may have been trying to free girlfriend

This evidence was given by Sergeant Ray Burke yesterday during an appeal of a six-month jail term at Cork Circuit Appeals Court.

Michael McDonagh, aged 26, travelled from An Sruthain, Castlebar, Co Mayo, yesterday for his appeal.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin refused to allow the appeal and affirmed the six-month sentence: “This was bizarre behaviour. It is a very moderate sentence for what happened.”

Solicitor Pat Horan said the accused was receiving psychiatric attention in Castlebar and signed himself out yesterday to come to Cork for the appeal and hoped to sign himself back into the facility later.

The offence occurred on the grounds of St Stephen’s Hospital, Sarsfield Court, Glanmire, Co Cork, where McDonagh claimed to have found the axe lying on the grass.

Armed gardaí rushed to the grounds on September 29 in response to a call from the garda control room at Anglesea St and found the man carrying an axe. The accused pleaded guilty to possession of the axe on the occasion.

Garda Laura O’Connor arrived and found that armed gardaí from the emergency response unit were already present.

One of those officers handcuffed McDonagh because the accused was carrying an axe.

The accused had 22 previous convictions including one for engaging in a violent affray in Castlebar in April.

Sgt Burke said during the case yesterday: “His girlfriend was residing there at the time and he was allegedly going there to get her out.”

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