herald

Monday 22 April 2019

Officers disarmed man trying to stab himself in the chest

Michael O’Donnell ‘suffered from severe anxiety’
Michael O’Donnell ‘suffered from severe anxiety’

A father-of-five was disarmed by gardai after he started waving a kitchen knife about and tried to stab himself in the chest.

Michael O'Donnell (35) was found with the knife after gardai were called to an incident at a house in the early hours of last St Stephen's Day.

Judge Paula Murphy imposed a five-month sentence, which she suspended for a year. The judge also ordered probation supervision for a year.

The defendant, of Creston Avenue, Finglas, had admitted possession of a knife at Stralem Grove, Ongar, last December 26.

Sgt Maria Callaghan previously told Blanchardstown District Court that gardai were called to the scene at around 4.15am following reports of an incident.

Sgt Callaghan said the def-endant had picked up a large kitchen knife and was waving it aggressively.

He was disarmed by gardai and arrested.

The court heard O'Donnell tried to self-harm and had attempted to stab himself in the chest a number of times.

Abusive

O'Donnell further admitted a breach of the peace outside Wetherspoons in Blanchardstown on September 12, 2017.

In that incident, he was extremely intoxicated and was refused entry to the pub.

He was highly aggressive and abusive to gardai, and he struggled to get away.

The court heard O'Donnell had a number of previous convictions.

The matter was before the court for sentencing after a judge ordered a probation report.

Defence solicitor Simon Fleming said O'Donnell was married with five children.

Mr Fleming said the defendant suffered from severe anxiety and at times could get "over- excited" and "worked up about things".

He said it had been difficult for the defendant to work with the probation service due to his anxiety, but he had co-operated fully.

O'Donnell was a religious man, Mr Fleming added, and came from a large family which had endured considerable tragedy, including the deaths of two of his brothers.

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