23 May 2022

Man pleads guilty to harassing female TD with lewd messages

Man pleads guilty to harassing female TD with lewd messages

Man pleads guilty to harassing female TD with lewd messages

A Limerick man has pleaded guilty to harassing a Fine Gael TD.

Gerard Culhane (43) of Marian Place, Glin, Co Limerick, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to harassing Jennifer Carroll MacNeill TD at unknown places within the state on dates between January 13, 2020, and March 26, 2020.

Pieter Le Vert BL, prosecuting, asked the court to order a victim impact statement. He said that a plea of guilty had been indicated by the accused well in advance of Thursday's appearance.

Karl Monahan BL, defending, said Culhane's solicitor has organised an appointment for his client with a psychologist and he hoped a report would be ready within eight weeks.

Mr Monahan said his client has no previous convictions and asked the court to order a report from the Probation Services.

Judge Melanie Greally agreed to order the probation report. She remanded Culhane on continuing bail and adjourned the matter for sentence on May 11, next.

At an appearance at Dún Laoghaire District Court last November Detective Sergeant Rachel Kilpatrick told Judge Ann Watkin that messages sent via the Facebook app included videos of “sexually explicit content” from a porn website featuring a male masturbating.

Pictures of Ms Carroll MacNeill, which had already been in the public domain, were also sent and some conversational messages referred to upcoming events in her life alongside “emojis and kisses”.

Dt Sgt Kilpatrick said that the public representative and Culhane were not known to each other personally. Judge Watkin said it would have been pretty horrific and frightening for Ms Carroll MacNeill.

As part of the conditions of his bail Culhane has to sign on weekly at a local Garda station and inform gardaí of any change to his address.

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