A Traveller man, whose mother ordered him to kill two gardaí at their home during a violent stand off with the officers, has been jailed for 18 months, writes David Raleigh.
25-year-old Michael Ryan, of Fairgreen, Rathkeale, Co Limerick, pleaded guilty at Limerick Circuit Court, to two counts of threatening to kill gardaí and to one count of violent disorder.
On June 7, 2013, Garda Leslie Maloney and Garda Paudie Cronin - both stationed in Rathkeale - were responding to a shed fire when they encountered an oncoming car in which five men wearing balaclavas were driving.
On seeing the two Gardaí, the driver reversed into a gate before he and the four other occupants ran into the Ryan's home.
Bridget Ryan, aged 56, the mother of the accused, came out of her home and shouted at the gardaí to "get off my f*****g property".
A group of fifteen people, including Ms Ryan and her son's Michael and Roger "surrounded" the gardaí.
"Such was the hostility, the gardaí had to retreat and call for assistance," Judge Tom O'Donnell, presiding said.
Roger Ryan, 30, then drove the 2.5L Ford Mondeo at Garda Maloney and Garda Cronin, whom the court heard were "in fear" for their lives.
Members of the Ryan family scrambled into their home, which prosecuting counsel John O’Sullivan said was like a fortress and fitted with security shutters and CCTV security cameras.
The court heard Bridget Ryan was the "main protagonist", and she tried to obstruct gardaí in their duty.
Judge O'Donnell said it was "very frightening" for the two gardaí involved.
He described it as "explosive with a volatile atmosphere", and, that Bridget Ryan was "the main spark that lit the fuse".
He said the events leading up to the threats against the gardaí were "sinister".
The judge noted there had been a fire in a shed and that men wearing balaclavas were encountered by Gardaí in a car in which "weapons" were later found.
"The gardaí had genuine fear for their own safety," Judge O'Donnell said.
In May 2014, Bridget Ryan and Roger Ryan both pleaded guilty to one count of violent disorder, and were given three-year suspended sentences and bound to the peace for a six-year period.
Bridget Ryan shouted at her sons to kill the gardaí, and ram them with the Mondeo, the court was told.
At one point, gardaí said they heard a female voice mention a pipe bomb.
Bridget Ryan had previous convictions, including one of causing criminal damage to a pub amounting to €5,000.
Her son Roger, who had 59 previous convictions, also pleaded guilty to assaulting a man in a pub in Rathkeale in 2014, causing him harm, and, to causing criminal damage to the pub and a jeep owned by the publican, for which he was jailed for three years.