Woman with history of non-appearance refused bail
By Martina Nee
A single mother who comitted a number of public order offences and has a “history of non-appearance” was refused bail this week and warned to deal with her alcoholic difficulties.
Judge Conal Gibbons refused to grant Helena O’Flaherty bail at the holiday sitting of Galway District Court last Tuesday. He said that the 30-year-old, with an address at 52 Droim Chaoin, Bishop O’Donnell Road, must deal with her alcoholic difficulties otherwise offences such as failing to turn up to court will happen continually.
O’Flaherty appeared in court charged with a number of offences, the oldest of which includes alleged theft of €30 worth of groceries from Duggan’s Shop, Renmore Road, on February 8, 2008. She then failed to turn up to court on February 28, 2005. More recent charges include alleged trespass with intent to commit a theft at a private premises at Walter Macken Place, Mervue, on April 17, 2009; being intoxicated in a public place at the A&E Department at UHG on May 1, 2009; failing to appear in court on May 13, 2009; being intoxicated in a public place and threatening and abusive behaviour at Beach Court on June 2, 2009; and being intoxicated in a public place and threatening and abusive behaviour at Walter Macken Place, Mervue, on July 8, 2009.
Garda Damien Gormally gave evidence this week of arrest, charge, and caution. He said that the defendant had been arrested at Galway courthouse on the morning of the court sitting and gave no reply to the two newest charges.
Inspector Mick Coppinger then made an application to have the defendant remanded in custody and objected to bail being granted because of her “history of non-appearance”.
Defence solicitor Valarie Corcoran, who made an application for bail, said that her client had failed to appear in court because of alcohol difficulties and that she had experienced a serious relapse. She then asked for bail to be granted with “stringent” conditions applied.
When the defendant took the stand she vowed to abide by any bail conditions set and to attend services to help overcome her alcoholism.
“I am convinced she won’t turn up,” said Judge Gibbons, adding that some structure needed to be put in place. He then refused bail and remanded O’Flaherty in custody to appear at Galway District Court on September 1 for DPP directions.