Man should see 'what A&E staff put up with'


A judge has said she wished she could impose six months watching what staff in a hospital emergency department had to deal with on a man for his role in the assault of a hospital security guard.

The court heard Craig Brennan (21) stood by as his friend assaulted a hospital security guard who had come to the hospital seeking treatment. Both men were intoxicated and had been abusive and obnoxious prior to the assault.

“Hospitals should not have security staff but that is the sorry state that has arisen,” said Judge Mary Ellen Ring. “He should sit and watch what these people have to put up with unnecessarily and spend his weekends there instead of out and about with his mates.”

Pleaded guilty

Brennan, of Berryfield Drive, Finglas, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Martin Fuller causing him harm at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, on October 10th, 2010. He has no previous convictions.

His co-accused, Ross Donohue, received an 18-month suspended sentence for the offence last year. Mr Fuller suffered soft tissue injuries and was out of work for two weeks but has had no long-term effects.

Judge Ring said she was going to put the case back to April and ask the Probation Service to assess Brennan’s suitability for community service and restorative justice.

“It would not do him any harm and it would not do the staff any harm for him to have to apologise to these people face to face,” she said.

Cormac Quinn, defending, said Brennan had taken alcohol at the time and was also taking “snow blow”, causing him to “go off the rails somewhat”. He said Brennan had since settled down and was now drug-free.

Mr Quinn said he had been instructed to apologise on his client’s behalf. He said Brennan should have left his friend when he became unruly and helped the security guard.

He said hospitals and emergency units did not need people like his client acting as he had and Brennan was ashamed and embarrassed.

Garda David Maher told Shane Costelloe, prosecuting, that he and a colleague were in the hospital emergency department at about 7pm that day accompanying a prisoner who needed treatment.

Emergency room

He said they saw Brennan and Donohue enter the emergency room and noted they were carrying on and behaving in an obnoxious manner. Donohue had an injury to his arm.

Donohue was loud and obnoxious and shouted that he didn’t want to share the waiting room with rats and pigs, referring to the gardaí and their prisoner.

Garda Maher tried to calm the situation and keep the prisoner in his custody calm but the men’s behaviour did not improve.