herald

Sunday 23 September 2018

Mum spent first night out in three years in garda cell

Oona Donnelly
Oona Donnelly

A reveller enjoying her first night out in three years ended up spending it in garda custody after she got drunk and threatened officers.

Oona Donnelly (25) refused to speak to male gardai unless a female officer was present, claiming they might "man-handle" her.

Judge Dermot Dempsey ordered Donnelly to donate €250 to Temple Street Children's Hospital and said he would apply the Probation Act.

The defendant, of Astoria Park, Belfast, admitted a breach of the peace before Swords District Court.

The incident took place at McDonald's, Airside Retail Park, Swords, shortly after 2.30am last December 6.

Gda David Byrne said that when he arrived on the scene, Donnelly was highly agitated and "incredibly intoxicated".

Gda Byrne said she was shouting at someone inside McDonald's and was making threats towards that person.

Distressing

The officer said Donnelly's behaviour continued in the patrol car, where she was lashing out and issuing various threats towards gardai.

Gda Byrne said Donnelly refused to co-operate with off-icers in Swords Garda Station, refusing to speak unless there was a female garda present, as she claimed she would be "manhandled and shoulder-charged" by male officers.

The court heard she had never been in trouble before.

Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said Donnelly spent a night in custody following this incident, and that was a distressing experience for her.

Ms D'Arcy said the incident took place on Donnelly's first night out in three years.

She said the defendant has a growth in her head and mental health issues, and unfortunately she mixed alcohol with prescribed medication.

Ms D'Arcy said the defendant, a mother-of-two, was app-alled by her behaviour.

The court heard she sent a letter of apology to Gda Byrne shortly after the incident.

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