17 Aug 2022

'Screaming' Tipperary man swung wooden pole at gardaí, district court told

Clonmel District Court

Clonmel District Court

A man who swung a wooden pole at gardaí has received a suspended sentence.

John Sheehan of 10 Elm Park, Clonmel was before the court on a Section 11 production of article capable of inflicting serious injury charge under the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act, and a Section 3 threat to damage property charge under the Criminal Damage Act.

Sergeant Carol O’Leary said that in the early hours of June 28, 2020, gardaí received a call about an incident at St Joseph’s Terrace, Clonmel.

Gardaí met a woman upon arriving at the scene, who had returned from a friend’s house to find her partner upstairs in bed.
She tried to wake him and an argument ensued.

Sgt O’Leary said a neighbour told gardaí that they heard the defendant “screaming” outside the house. The defendant told the neighbour to “mind his own business” or he would burn his car and house down.

Sgt O’Leary said the defendant had a wooden pole and swung it at gardaí, and shouted that he wasn’t going anywhere. After being sprayed by gardaí twice, he dropped the wooden pole and was arrested.

Sgt O’Leary added that the defendant has 13 previous convictions including for theft and the majority of which were road traffic offences.


Defence solicitor Eamonn Hayes said his client has consumed alcohol in excess and took prescribed medication on the date in question.

The solicitor admitted that there was “domestic disharmony in the household”.

The solicitor said his client’s partner, who he is still in a relationship with, called gardaí and a neighbour became involved.

His client believed that the neighbour was interfering in a family matter.

The solicitor described the item produced to gardaí as “minimal in nature”, although he did acknowledge that it falls under the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act.

His client “simply brandished it in the face of gardaí, but didn’t intend to use it”.

The solicitor added that his client has been ordered to stay away from Clonmel since June. His client, who is on a social welfare payment for a spinal cord injury, is anxious to put the matter behind him.

Judge Terence Finn sentenced the defendant to three months of imprisonment, suspended on a Section 99 bond for a period of two years.

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