Man who threatened to kill garda jailed for seven months

Burglar apologises for threats made to garda

A Galway man who had threatened to kill a garda after being arrested on foot of a bench warrant has been jailed for seven months for a burglary at a Salthill night club and for failing to appear in court.

Paul McDonagh (31 ) with an address at Tullow Land, Tullow, Co Carlow, but formerly of 60 Inishannagh Park, was brought before Galway District Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to burglary at the Warwick Hotel in Salthill on March 24, 2008.

Inspector Pat McHugh told the court that the defendant had been arrested on March 23 of this year on foot of a bench warrant in relation to the incident. He said that gardai received a call to go to the Warwick Hotel after staff discovered that a burglary had taken place. Inspector McHugh explained that a cash till in the night club section of the premises had been pulled out. The coins were left strewn across the floor and only the notes were taken. CCTV footage showed the defendant making his way behind the bar counter, and he was arrested some time later.

Defence solicitor Sarah O’Dowd said that her client wished to apologise to Judge Mary Fahy and to the gardai for his behaviour in court the previous week.

Garda Gerry Dunne, who executed the bench warrant, gave evidence that on March 23, 2009, he arrested McDonagh at Bishop O’Donnell Road and charged him. In reply to the charges, McDonagh had told Garda Dunne: “I will get out in a few years and I will f**king kill you”.

Ms O’Dowd said yesterday that McDonagh had been on a treatment programme at Cuain Mhuire and had come out for Mother’s Day and to visit the grave of his cousin. Unfortunately he then went drinking with acquaintances. She said that the Galway native went to live in Carlow in early 2007 after being released from prison because he wanted to “clean up his life” and get away from bad influences.

Regarding the burglary Ms O’Dowd explained that McDonagh had had an argument with his partner just a day or two before and went to stay with his mother in Galway. He then met up with friends and “went on the beer”.

Inspector McHugh said that the €200 taken in the burglary was not recovered. He added that the defendant has 16 previous convictions which include a three year suspended sentence for burglary in 2005.

Judge Fahy took the plea of guilty into account but stated that the defendant’s background was “appalling”. She then convicted McDonagh and imposed a total of seven months.


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