Woman who attacked gardai ‘not criminalised’

Judge Carroll Moran
A WOMAN who attacked gardai during Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations four years ago avoided a prison sentence,

A WOMAN who attacked gardai during Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations four years ago avoided a prison sentence,

Rita Kelly, aged 23, who has an address at GReenhills Road, Garryowen pleaded guilty - along with her then boyfriend - to engaging in violent disorder at O’Connell Street during the early hours of March 18, 2010.

Limerick Circuit Court was previously told the pair were arrested following an incident outside the Supermacs restaurant.

The court heard that Ms Kelly had intervened as gardai tried to arrest her boyfriend after he was observed kicking the front door of the restaurant.

Ms Kelly was verbally abusive towards gardai on the night and had used “insulting and vulgar language”.

She scratched a number of gardai in the face and she spat in the face of a female gardai as she tussled with her on the ground.

During a sentencing hearing, Mark Nicholas BL said Ms Kelly has no previous convictions and that she has not been in any trouble since the incident.

He said his client had behaved “deplorably” on the night and he said the incident had been disgraceful.

Kelly, he said, had been taking medication for an illness around the time of the offence and that she is now “leading a quiet life” as she has a young daughter.

Judge Carroll Moran was told that none of the gardai were seriously injured during the incident and that they have all gone on to make a full recovery.

The judge described the actions of the accused as disgraceful and he said gardai were entitled to be protected from such behaviour as they carried out their duties.

Previously the judge said the actions of the defendants were “not acceptable” and he indicated he was considering a twelve month sentence in the case.

However, during a review of the case, the judge was told that Ms Kelly has stayed out of trouble for the past twelve months and has not come to the attention of gardai.

Judge Moran said in the circumstances he did not want to criminalise her so he applied the provisions of the Probation Act.

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