Man (30) charged over Sligo standoff
Accused in court for possession of single-barrel shotgun during Garda siege
Gardai at the scene of the incident on the Sligo to Strandhill Road in Sligo on Saturday. Photograph: James Connolly
A man arrested after a 13-hour Garda standoff appeared in court today charged with possession of a single-barrel shotgun with the intent to endanger life.
Michael O’Connor (30), described as unemployed, was remanded in custody until next Friday at Harristown District Court in Castlerea, Co Roscommon.
Judge Kevin Kilrane was told at a special sitting of Sligo District Court that the prosecution was aware Mr O’Connor would have been in contact with the mental health service in the past.
Superintendent Mary Murray added: “But we are not aware of any significant mental health issues now.”
Although Mr O’Connor’s charge gave his home address as Nolmar, Scardenmore, Strandhill Rd, Sligo, the court was told by Supt Murray during her objection to bail that he was homeless. She said her bail objection included the seriousness of the charge.
His parents and other family members were present in the court.
Officer Detective Sergeant Con Lee say that the arrest was made on foot of instructions from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The formal arrest was made at 10.30pm last night. Det Sgt Lee said that when cautioned, Mr O’Connor said that he had nothing to say in answer to the charge.
Defence solicitor Mark Mullaney said he was not making an application for bail but he was noting the superintendent ’s objection to it.
Mr Mullaney said he was asking, at Mr O’Connor’s request, that he be given a medical psychiatric assessment.
Mr O’Connor, wearing an off-white t-shirt beneath a grey pullover and grey tracksuit bottoms, did not speak while in court. As he left he placed a navy woollen beret on his head.
The charge outlined that the incident occurred at his parents’ home, Nolmar, Scardenmore, on December 28th . Mr O’Connor was taken into custody at the end of a 13-hour siege in which the bungalow was surrounded by armed gardaí. A number of shots were fired but no-one was injured in the incident.