Man charged with endangering baby's life during Garda stand-off refused bail

Man charged with endangering baby's life during Garda stand-off refused bail
The man is facing seven charges at Ennis Court concerning a series of alleged offences over a four-hour period at four different locations during the tense stand-off with gardaí in Ennis on April 10 and the early hours of April 11 last. File photo

A judge today refused bail to a father accused of endangering the life of his three-and-a-half-month-old baby girl when he held her upside down by one leg over a river.

At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan refused a bail application for the 28-year-old Ennis man after Garda objections.

The man is facing seven charges concerning a series of alleged offences over a four-hour period at four different locations during the tense stand-off with gardaí in Ennis on April 10 and the early hours of April 11 last.

Members of the Garda Armed Response Unit, along with trained negotiators, were called in to defuse the situation concerning the father and his baby girl.

The man was arrested and the baby was returned into the arms of her mother shortly after 2am on April 11.

In court today, solicitor for the accused, Daragh Hassett stated that he was making the fresh bail application in order to allow his client obtain medical care that he is unable to obtain while on remand in prison.

Mr Hassett told the court that the case concerns very serious allegations against his client concerning his young child.

Mr Hassett said: “The basis of the bail application is that my client would be granted bail on licence with very strict conditions and he would take up an admission at a local hospital to deal with his mental health."

However, gardaí objected to bail. Garda Barry Comber told the court that a number of the alleged offences concerning the baby were witnessed by gardaí on the night.

Garda Comber stated that gardaí were also objecting due to the level of evidence available to the State that also included CCTV evidence.

Judge Patrick Durcan said that he was refusing bail and remanded the accused in custody to August 13 to appear in court via video link.

Judge Durcan directed that the prison governor provide medical attention to the accused and directed that Mr Hassett write to the prison governor on the issue also.

Bail was previously refused to the accused in April and Mr Hassett was able to make the new bail application due to new charges being brought against his client.

The man is accused of intentionally or recklessly engaging in conduct where he held the baby upside-down by one leg over the River Fergus at Woodquay, Ennis, which created a substantial risk of death or serious harm contrary to Section 13 of the Offences Against the Person Act on April 10 last.

The man is also accused of intentionally or recklessly swinging the baby over his head and to the ground aggressively and narrowly missing a steel pole at Carmody Street, Ennis, which created a substantial risk of death or serious harm to the baby on April 10.

The man is also accused of making a threat to Garda Tim Quirke at Carmody Street, Ennis, intending Garda Quirke to believe that it would be carried out to kill or cause serious harm to the baby on April 10.

The man is also charged with violently tossing the baby around in the air while holding her by one ankle with one hand and threatening to smash her head off the ground which created a substantial risk of death or serious harm to another at Friar’s Walk, Ennis, on April 10.

The man is also charged that without lawful excuse of making a threat to Alan West for Mr West to believe that the accused would kill or cause the baby serious harm at Barrack Street, Ennis, on April 10.

The man also made a threat to a woman for her to believe that the accused would kill or cause serious harm to the baby at Friar’s Walk on April 11.

Persons convicted in the circuit court of offences under Section 13 of the Non-Fatal Against the Person Act are liable to prison terms of up to seven years.

Gardaí have taken 60 statements and sought CCTV from 30 different premises in Ennis as part of an investigation into the alleged offences.

The Ennis man has been in custody since the incident.

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