Former Cork Fianna Fáil councillor charged with harassment of young woman

Joseph O’Donovan, 47, was charged with the harassment of a young woman on three dates between July 30, 2022, and August 6, 2022, at a restaurant in Cork City
Former Cork Fianna Fáil councillor charged with harassment of young woman

Joseph O'Donovan at Cork District Court, Anglesea Street, Cork, on Wednesday. Picture: Dan Linehan

A former Fianna Fáil councillor has appeared in court charged with the harassment of a young woman in Cork City.

Joseph O’Donovan, 47, with an address at Melvindale House, Coolowen, Blarney, Co Cork, and who was formerly known as Gary O’Flynn, has now been ordered to stay out of Cork City and observe a night-time curfew after he was released on bail, with a number of conditions.

He was brought before Cork District Court on Wednesday morning where he was charged with the harassment of a young woman under Section 10 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997, on three dates between July 30, 2022, and August 6, 2022, at a restaurant in Cork City.

Detective Sergeant Katrine Tansley, of Anglesea Street Garda Station gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution.

She told Judge Colm Roberts she arrested Mr O’Donovan at the Bridewell Garda Station in Cork City at 5.12pm on Tuesday, August 16, and charged him a minute later with harassment and cautioned him.

She told the judge Mr O’Donovan made no reply to the charge.

She said gardaí had no objection to bail being granted subject to Mr O’Donovan consenting to abide by a number of strict conditions, which she outlined to the court.

Bail conditions

She said it should be a condition of bail that Mr O’Donovan resides at his home address at Melvindale House near Blarney, that he has no contact, direct or indirect, including through social media, with the alleged injured party, and that he remain out of Cork City centre, with the exception of attending legal or medical appointments only.

A number of specific streets in one part of the city centre were named in court as part of the bail conditions.

Sgt Tansley also said it should be a condition of bail that Mr O’Donovan would abstain from all intoxicants in public, that he would observe a daily curfew, remaining at home between the hours of 10pm and 7am, and that he would sign on at Gurranabraher Garda Station three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Mr O’Donovan consented to bail on his own bond of €250 and the judge then released him on bail, with the various conditions attached, to appear before court again on September 28 to hear instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

As he was signing the documents, Judge Roberts advised him of the seriousness of the conditions he was signing up to, and he told him to “concentrate on the terms of the bail”.

Mr O’Donvoan, who was wearing a dark blazer, jeans, and brown boots, nodded and indicated he understood. He did not address the court during the brief hearing.

His father, Noel, was a TD for the Cork North Central constituency from 1997 until 2011.

When Mr O’Donovan was known as Gary O’Flynn, he served on Cork City Council from autumn 2003, when he was co-opted to replace his father, until he stood down in December 2008.

His brother Kenneth was then co-opted on to the council in December 2008. He has held the seat since, and is currently an independent councillor.

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