herald

Wednesday 20 June 2018

'Upset' OAP at medical centre took out grenades

The case was struck out (stock photo)
The case was struck out (stock photo)

A pensioner who got upset when he was told he did not have the correct paperwork for a blood test produced deactivated hand grenades while he was in a medical centre.

Thomas Burke (81) shocked staff when he produced the grenades before leaving the centre.

Gardai subsequently called him on his mobile phone to direct him to Drogheda Garda Station for interview.

Burke, of St Mary's Villas, Drogheda, pleaded guilty to using threatening and abusive behaviour at the Laurence Centre Primary Care Unit on Peter Street in the town on December 22, 2015.

Defence solicitor Dorothy Walsh said that Burke, who has no previous convictions, was given the hand grenades by his uncle Christy Burke, who was ammunition officer with the Old IRA and assisted in the 1922 truce.

"The grenades were never live," said Ms Walsh, adding that the defendant had got them back from a local museum.

"He had the grenades at home and he regrets the upset he caused."

Ms Walsh said the grenades were very important to him and he wanted them to be returned.

Convictions

Insp Brendan Cadden said he wanted clarification on the status of the grenades and suggested they be given to the Millmount Museum.

However, Judge John Coughlan did not make a ruling on where the grenades should go.

"An 81-year-old man who has no previous convictions. He is obviously a decent man," said the judge, who struck the case out.

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