herald

Saturday 25 January 2020

'It was a joke' - Dubliner charged over alleged bid to kidnap woman in 60s

Blackhorse Avenue, where it is alleged Gallagher tried to abduct the woman
Blackhorse Avenue, where it is alleged Gallagher tried to abduct the woman
Accused Martin Gallagher

A Dublin man told gardai "it was a joke that went wrong" after he was charged in relation to the alleged abduction attempt of a woman aged in her late 60s.

Martin Gallagher (20) also said he was "sorry" after two charges were put to him, a court heard yesterday.

The accused, of Rusheeney Avenue, Hartstown, Dublin 15, is alleged to have falsely imprisoned the injured party on Monday morning while she was out walking.

Mr Gallagher is further accused of assault causing harm to the same woman at Blackhorse Avenue, Dublin 7.

Anxious

Garda Paul Kirwan gave evidence of arrest, charge and cautioning the accused yesterday morning.

He told Dublin District Court that after the charges were put to Mr Gallagher at 12.45am, he made no reply.

However, defence solicitor Michael Kelleher said his client had claimed he did reply to the charge and that he was "anxious" that this be noted by the court.

The court heard Mr Gallagher told gardai: "I'm sorry, it was a joke that went wrong" after being charged.

No application was made for bail and the accused was remanded in custody to appear in court again next Thursday.

Judge Bryan Smyth also granted the defendant legal aid after reviewing a statement of means.

Mr Gallagher, who was wearing a navy tracksuit and did not speak during the hearing, blew a kiss toward a supporter in the public gallery after being brought into court.

A garda investigation was launched on Monday morning after officers received reports of an alleged attempted abduction at Martin Grove, Blackhorse Avenue, at around 7.30am.

A witness appeal was issued and the following day a man was arrested as part of the investigation.

In a previous statement, a garda spokesman said detectives believe that at around 7.30am on the day in question, "the injured party spoke briefly to an elderly lady who was walking a dog. They met close to Cumiskeys pub".

"Gardai are anxious to speak to this person who was walking their dog and who may be in a position to assist with the investigation," he added.

"Anyone with information should contact Blanchardstown Garda Station on 01-6667008."

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