Three-time All-Ireland winning Limerick hurler Pat Ryan appealed a jail sentence imposed on him on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to committing perjury during judicial proceedings in which he was accused of speeding.
Limerick District Court Judge Patricia Harney said Ryan, aged 27, from Doon, Co Limerick, had told a “brazen lie” when he previously gave evidence before the court on October 21, 2020, that he had not received a fixed charge penalty notice after a Garda had allegedly detected him exceeding the national roads speed limit in 2018.
Judge Harney heard that some time after Mr Ryan told the 2020 hearing that he had not received notification of the alleged speeding offence, Gardai later discovered Mr Ryan had sent an image of the speeding notice from his mobile phone to a “third party”.
After hearing Gardai outline the facts of the case, Judge Harney told Mr Ryan: “This is serous stuff. You’re not getting away with it.”
Garda Darren John Swan, Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, told today’s hearing that he arrested Mr Ryan at 9.26am at Mayorstone Garda Station, Limerick.
Garda Swan said the All-Ireland winning hurler did not reply when he charged him at 9.44am.
Outlining the facts of the case Gda Swan said Mr Ryan had appeared before the court on October 21, 2020, accused of speeding.
Garda Swan said Mr Ryan had given “sworn evidence” during the 2020 hearing, that he had not received notification of the alleged speeding offence.
Garda Swan said it was later “discovered” that Mr Ryan had “forwarded” an image of the speeding notice from his mobile phone to a “third party” who was not identified in court.
“This contradicted Mr Ryan’s sworn evidence,” said Gda Swan.
The GNBCI officer said Mr Ryan was arrested on March 10, 2021 on suspicion of committing perjury during the 2020 court hearing.
Garda Swan told Judge Harney that the Director of Public prosecutions “recommended it be dealt with by summary disposal” before the district court.
Garda Swan said Mr Ryan had one previous conviction, on June 27, 2022, for “holding a mobile phone whilst driving”.
Judge Harney told Mr Ryan’s defence solicitor Con Barry: “This is pretty serious stuff, he’s (Mr Ryan) not getting away with it.” Mr Barry said Mr Ryan had “put his hands up” and had “fully cooperated” with the GNBCI - Judge Harney replied “it’s the least he (Mr Ryan) could do”.
“You’re not getting away with it,” the judge told Mr Ryan.
“He (Mr Ryan) got caught; he expected not to get caught, and now he is in serious trouble, he is facing a jail sentence,” the judge said.
Mr Barry appealed again for leniency, to which the judge retorted: “Talk to me about truth, about veracity...this goes to the core of the entire administration of justice.” “He (Mr Ryan) told a brazen lie in the face of this court. The whole criminal justice system is based on truth given to the courts - you’re client is facing very very serious trouble,” the judge told Mr Barry.
Gardai told Judge Harney that the maximum sentence she could impose was six months in prison and or a fine of up to €5,000.
Appealing to the judge not to jail Mr Ryan, Mr Barry said: “This will effect him (Mr Ryan) throughout his life, his ability to travel (abroad), it will have a tremendous effect on him for years”.
Judge Harney said she was “not satisfied that a fine was the way to deal with it”.
Imposing a two-week jail sentence on Mr Ryan, the Judge said the “brazen nature” of his evidence in 2020 “cuts to the heart of the criminal justice system”.
Mr Ryan, who sat in the defendant’s dock, dressed in a blue anorak, black polo shirt, green tracksuit pants and runners, looked visibly shaken after the custodial sentence was imposed upon him.
Mr Barry immediately appealed the sentence and Judge Harney fixed recognisances, remanding Mr Ryan on bail, on his own bond of €100, which did not have to be lodged.
“If another court takes a different view, so be it, but it is far too serious,” Judge Harney said.
Mr Ryan silently worded “oh my god” to himself before he left the court.
No date was given for his appeal.