Murder witness fined for abuse of gardai and hospital staff

A Clare man, who became aggressive towards gardai and hospital staff when he was being treated for a head injury, had psychological difficulties which stemmed from being a witness to his brother’s murder, the Galway District Court heard this week.

James O’Loughlin (43 ) with an address at 1 Radharc Na Hinse, Drunbiggle, Ennis, Clare, was brought before Judge Mary Fahy last Monday and pleaded guilty to threatening and abusive behaviour at UHG, Newcastle, on April 4, 2008.

The court heard that at 10.30pm gardai received a call to go to St Finbar’s Terrace where the defendant had a gash to the head and was being treated by ambulance crew. When O’Loughlin was being taken to UHG he became abusive to a garda who had accompanied him. He also became aggressive and abusive to staff at the hospital upon arrival. He was then taken to Galway Garda Station and later returned to the hospital for treatment.

Defence solicitor Valerie Corcoran said that her client, who is now separated, had lost his brother two years previously when he had been murdered. She said that the defendant had been a witness to the murder and that he had suffered psychological difficulties since and is now on heavy medication.

On the night in question Ms Corcoran explained that the defendant had himself been the victim of an assault and that although his behaviour had been unacceptable he had been upset and was not in his right mind.

Judge Fahy warned that the court does not take kindly to this type of behaviour in busy hospitals.

Ms Corcoran handed up a letter from O’Loughlin’s counsellor asked Judge Fahy to be lenient considering the circumstances.

Judge Fahy fined the defendant €500 with three months to pay.



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