Village terrorised by drunk and aggressive local

Man assaults family and gardai, court hears

A man who terrorised his hometown has received a 20-month prison sentence at Tullamore District Court.

Judge Gerard Haughton said Roy Brennan had been “a scourge both to his family and to the people of Tyrrellspass for some period of time”.

The four consecutive five-month sentences were imposed following his conviction on one count of assaulting a garda, one of breach of the peace, and two counts of assaulting his father.

Sgt McNicholas, who gave evidence in all of the cases, said Mr Brennan’s family and the people of Tyrrellspass were sick of his behaviour, were at their wits’ end and had it “up to their tonsils” with a man who seemed to have “no fear”. He has 25 previous convictions.

The assaults on Seán Brennan took place at their home at Guildford in the Westmeath village on April 16 and 17.  

Gardaí called to the family home to check out reports that Mr Brennan Jnr had visited the home of his ex-girlfriend. He was not home at the time, but when his father later asked him about it, he became enraged and aggressive, broke two picture frames, and punched his father two or three times into the arms.

The second assault occurred the following day, when Mr Brennan Snr returned home in the afternoon thinking the situation had settled. However, Roy Brennan again became enraged and words were exchanged.

A three-year-old grandchild was present as Roy again punched his father in the arms, grabbed him and shook him, and then backed off, grabbed a mug containing orange juice and flung it at the older man.

Seán Brennan was described as a man in his 60s and “very frail”. He was wearing glasses when hit with the mug and received injuries to the side of his face.

Sgt McNicholas was assaulted on March 3 when Roy Brennan returned home from a night in Kilbeggan. Shortly after 1am and following a public order incident, Mr Brennan told the Garda to “f*** off”.

Drunk and aggressive, he refused to go home, slammed his fist on the patrol car and then ran away. When he was caught and arrested he resisted handcuffs and had to be cuffed on the ground. He also had to be forcibly placed in the patrol car when he resisted again.

The sergeant was driving when Mr Brennan managed to lift his two feet between the passenger seat and the driver seat and kick him so hard that he winded him and the vehicle had to pull over.

He also attempted to head-butt the garda who was accompanying him in the backseat.

Mr Brennan was also sentenced for breaching the peace on April 18 when Gardaí were called to Guildford at 1.08am to a disturbance and found Mr Brennan face down on the ground as his brother and cousin tried to hold him down.

His parents no longer wanted him in the home. When he was lifted up from the ground, he spat blood and saliva at his brother. He was also drunk.

A number of other incidents were detailed.

Mr Donal Farrelly said that his client was an acknowledged alcoholic with serious problems. All his previous offences, including several counts of indecency, were drink related, he said.

Mr Brennan (34 ) told the court that he would go to an alcohol treatment centre “this minute if I could”. He had previously completed a 10-week course which he had found beneficial.  

However under cross-examination by Inspector Pat Murray, it emerged that he had no plans made and was not aware if a bed was available for him at the centre.

He said he was “deeply sorry” for what he had done to his father and the sergeant.

Judge Haughton said the defendant was aware from February 16, the date of the first offence before the court that his drinking was getting him into trouble, but he waited two months to suggest going for treatment.

“There comes a time when the court has to give more priority to the protection of the public than to the rehabilitation of the defendant,” he said.

He pointed out that Mr Brennan had “no regard whatever” to a bail order and conditions imposed when he appeared before him on March 18. Those conditions had been breached by a number of offences.

He imposed four five-month sentences and took all the other charges into consideration.


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