Protester to deny assaulting Limerick detective

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Joseph Shanahan picture outside Limerick District Court   [Picture: Press 22]
AN ANTI-water charges protester is set to contest allegations that he assaulted a detective garda during a protest outside a city hotel.

AN ANTI-water charges protester is set to contest allegations that he assaulted a detective garda during a protest outside a city hotel.

Joseph Shanahan, aged 63, of St Michael’s Court, Watergate is accused of assaulting Detective Garda Pat Whelan who was on duty during the protest outside the Greenhills Hotel, Ennis Road on November 24, last.

The anti-water charges protest, which attracted a sizeable crowd, was organised to coincide with a visit by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny who was attending a private Fine Gael event at the hotel on the night.

It is alleged that Mr Shanahan elbowed Det Garda Whelan in the ribs shortly before 10pm as he was escorting a member of the public through the crowd of demonstrators.

It is understood the detective garda was not seriously injured during the incident.

The defendant, first appeared in court in June having been having being summonsed by gardai and the case was previously adjourned to facilitate the disclosure of potential evidence in the case.

Last month, Judge Marian O’Leary also ordered that CCTV from the Greenhills be furnished but last week, Aaron Desmond BL, defending, said he had been informed by gardai there is no CCTV evidence.

He indicated that his client intends contesting the charge and will be pleading not guilty.

Seeking a date for hearing, Mr Desmond said he expects the matter will last around 45 minutes.

Noting that the charge is to be contested, Judge Marian O’Leary adjourned the case to February 18, next for hearing.

The defendant, who did not speak during the brief hearing, was accompanied in court by a number of anti-water charges protestors - including independent councillor John Loftus.

An Anti-Austerity Alliance banner stating “We Won’t Pay” was also unfurled on the steps of Limerick Courthouse as Mr Shanahan arrived ahead of the proceedings.