herald

Sunday 25 August 2019

TD's son accused of assault on garda will not get adult caution

Accused Fearghal O Snodaigh
Accused Fearghal O Snodaigh

A court case against a TD's son accused of assaulting a garda is to proceed after a judge was told he would not be given an adult caution instead.

Fearghal O Snodaigh (23), son of Sinn Fein TD Aengus O Snodaigh, is alleged to have become threatening before resisting arrest and assaulting an officer in an incident at a garda station.

The case had been previously adjourned for his lawyers to enquire about the possibility of a caution being given.

However, yesterday Judge Eirinn McKiernan adjourned the case for four weeks for the accused to decide how he intends to plead.

Mr O Snodaigh, of Naas Road, Dublin 8, is accused of assaulting Garda Niall Carolan at Ballymun Garda Station. The offence is alleged to have happened on February 28 last year.

Mr O Snodaigh is further charged with obstructing Gda Carolan and using threatening, abusive and insulting words or behaviour, with intent to provoke a breach of the peace.

Yesterday's appearance was Mr O Snodaigh's fourth court date in relation to the case, after he was summonsed in January.

Defence solicitor Ruth Walsh told the judge the case had been put back "to see whether or not a caution might be administered".

She said this was not possible and she sought disclosure of prosecution documents.

A summary of the evidence against the accused had already been provided, she said.

The judge made the order and adjourned the case to next month, for the accused to either enter a plea or be given a date for hearing if he is contesting the charges.

The accused stepped forward when his case was called but was not required to address the court during the brief hearing.

He was not required to be on bail as he was brought to court by way of summons rather than being formally charged.

Alternative

The charges are under the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act and the Public Order Act.

According to gardai, the adult caution scheme is an alternative to the prosecution of certain people against whom there is evidence of the commission of a criminal offence, but where the prosecution of such an offence is not required in the public interest.

The accused's father, Aengus O Snodaigh, has been a TD for Dublin South-Central since 2002.

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