Michael Ryan was sentenced at Limerick Circuit Court
A YOUNG man has been sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment for his role in a violent incident in Rathkeale almost three years ago.
In January, Michael Ryan, aged 24, of Fairgreen, Fairhill, Rathkeale pleaded guilty to three charges relating to the incident, which happened shortly after midnight on June 7, 2013.
The defendant who fled to England following the incident was brought before Limerick Circuit Court after a bench warrant for his arrest was executed by gardai.
During a sentencing hearing, Judge Tom O’Donnell was told the incident unfolded after gardai responded to reports of a house fire in Rathkeale.
When Garda Patrick Cronin and Garda Lesley Maloney arrived to investigate the reports, they observed a high-powered Ford Mondeo, which was occupied by a number men wearing balaclavas.
When they attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver tried to reverse at high speed into a yard adjoining the Mr Ryan’s family home.
However, after the car crashed into a pillar at the gate, the occupants retreated into the house before re-emerging a short time later when the two gardai tried to seize the Mondeo.
Tensions escalated and at one point a group of around 14 or 15 people emerged from the Ryan’s home.
Garda Flavin said the defendant’s mother – Brigid Ryan – was roaring and shouting at the others to “get them (the gardai) out, kill them” while her son could be heard shouting “get the f*** off my property or I will f****** kill you,”.
Imposing sentence this Tuesday, Judge O’Donnell said he accepted that Mr Ryan was not the main protagonist on the night and that his actions were “somewhere between misplaced loyalty and following orders”.
He said the incident, which he described as explosive and very volatile had been very frightening for the two gardai who feared they would be killed.
He imposed a three-year prison sentence, suspending the final 18 months for five years.