25 Jun 2022

Longford woman bound to peace for ‘vicious’ garda station assault

Longford Courthouse.

A woman has been bound to the peace for two years after “viciously” assaulting another woman inside the confines of Longford Garda Station.

A woman has been bound to the peace for two years after “viciously” assaulting another woman inside the confines of Longford Garda Station.

Hannah Meares, 76 St Michael’s Road, Longford was issued with the order by Judge Seamus Hughes after the 52-year-old pleaded guilty to assaulting mother of one Amy McDonnell on July 23 2020.

The court heard from Ms McDonnell who said she had been the victim of an unprovoked attack while inside an interview room at the Battery Road facility.

Ms McDonnell added that the accused pulled at her hair and threatened to kill her shortly before gardaí intervened and split the pair up.

The incident, it was revealed, happened just four days before Ms McDonnell was left unconscious following a separate attack in Dublin.

Sporting two black eyes as she took the witness stand, Ms McDonnell denied suggestions put to her by Ms Mears’ solicitor Bríd Mimnagh that she had kicked out at the accused in the course of the incident.

“I hardly had the energy to move my body,” she said, as she pleaded with the court to allow gardaí who were present to give their version of what transpired.

Sgt Andy McGauran said he had been on duty on the day of the incident when he noticed a “commotion” coming from a room directly opposite the station’s public office area.

He said upon entry to the room he immediately saw Amy sitting down in front of the accused who was “pulling viciously” at her hair.

“Hannah was seated on a chair and pulling at Amy with her back to her,” said Sgt McGauran.

“She (Amy) was under a vicious attack.”

Ms Mimnagh, in her cross examination, asked Sgt McGauran if he had witnessed her client strike out at the victim.

“I didn’t see her, but Sgt (Keelan) Brennan did indicate she made a hit to the face.”

The court also heard from Garda Milincic who said Ms McDonnell had told her in a statement taken afterwards that she had been “boxed” in the chin by Ms Meares.

In response, Judge Hughes was handed in video footage from Ms Meares’ mobile phone which allegedly showed Ms McDonnell at her home openly goading her pregnant daughter to fight.

Ms Meares said she had been present at the garda station on the day to formally lodge a complaint against Ms McDonnell when the alleged assault occurred.

Prior to giving his ruling, Judge Hughes was told Ms Meares had 14 previous convictions to her name.

Judge Hughes said he would be binding Ms Meares to the peace for a period of two years in her own cash sum of €250 before telling her she was “getting off lightly” for her behaviour.

“If there is a breach of it, you will be going to prison,” he told her.

“And it doesn’t matter what she (Ms McDonnell) puts up on Facebook.”

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