Garda charged with harassing two women

Father-of-four, who is currently suspended, has not yet indicated how he will plead

Dublin-based Garda Donal Maguire leaving Dublin District Court today. He has been  charged with four counts of harassment. Photograph: Collins

Dublin-based Garda Donal Maguire leaving Dublin District Court today. He has been charged with four counts of harassment. Photograph: Collins

Fri, Mar 28, 2014, 16:37

A Dublin-based Garda has been charged with harassing two women over an 18-month period.

Garda Donal Maguire (38) was brought before judge Patricia McNamara at Dublin District Court today.

The garda had an address at Millbrook Avenue, in Kilbarrack, Dublin, but was arrested yesterday morning, in Bundoran, Co Donegal, where he is currently residing.

Mr Maguire, who is currently suspended from duty, faces three charges for harassing one woman at the Jervis Shopping Centre, in Dublin city-centre on February 7th and March 18th last and at Tesco in Clarehall Shopping Centre, over a 12-month period, from September 23rd, 2012.

He is also accused of harassing another woman at North Great Clarence Street, in central Dublin, between February 1st, 2014 and March 19th, last.

The father of four, who is currently suspended, has not yet indicated how he will plead and was granted legal aid after the court heard he could barely afford to travel back to Donegal.

He has been remanded on conditional bail pending directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions and will face his next hearing on May 8th next.

Garda Inspector Francis Sweeney told the court that Mr Maguire said “nothing to say” after he was charged with the first three offences. He had “no reply” when the fourth charge was put to him, Garda Inspector Anthony Howard told the court.

The court heard that Mr Maguire is estranged from his wife but she is not one of the injured parties. The accused is now living with his mother in Donegal judge McNamara heard.

A statement of his means was handed into court and defence solicitor Matthew Kenny said his client is currently suspended and there has been a reduction in his pay. A statement was furnished to the judge who was also told that Mr Maguire has “limited means”.

There was no objection to bail but Garda Inspector Howard asked for a €200 lodgement.

Mr Kenny, defending, asked for no cash lodgement saying his client can “barely fund the transportation costs back home to Donegal”.

He also said that if the lodgement was required his client would have to be remanded in custody.

This would cause the 38-year-old serious difficulty because of his profession, the lawyer said, and the court heard the defendant has recently spent time in hospital.

Judge McNamara released Mr Maguire on bail with conditions that he must not have any contact with the complainants; he has to sign-on three times a week at his local Garda station, and stay out of Dublin city and county except for court appearances and pre-arranged consultations with his solicitor or for medical appointments.

Directions from the DPP need to be obtained to determine whether the case should be dealt with at district court level or instead be sent forward to the Circuit Court, which has tougher sentencing powers.