Man threatened garda in ambulance, saying he knew she had two children

Threat made after assault on local pensioner that left him with brain injury

 Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times


An “out of control” 31-year-old Clare man threatened a female Garda that he knew she had two small children, that he would eat her face and send flowers to her door, a court has heard.

Martin O’Callaghan made the threat to Garda Ann Marie Hughes as he was being brought by ambulance from a scene at Kilrush where he had carried out a serious assault on a 69-year-old local man, Anthony O’Brien that left the pensioner with a brain injury.

At Ennis Circuit Court, Garda Hughes told the court the threats made by Mr O’Callaghan “have caused me a great deal of upset”.

As part of a victim impact statement, Garda Hughes told the court: “I would always be concerned that this man has an intimate knowledge of my family and living arrangements and those concerns will not go away.”

Garda Hughes stated that during the ambulance journey from Kilrush to Limerick, Mr O’Callaghan also pulled out tubing and spat.

Mr O’Callaghan also assaulted a paramedic at the A&E department at University Hospital Limerick

Judge Gerald Keys imposed a four-year sentence, suspending the final 14 months, for the rampage including the assault causing harm of Anthony O’Brien along with an assault on Garda Hughes.

Judge Keys gave credit for time already served by Mr O’Callaghan while on remand.

Mr O’Callaghan – who has 71 previous convictions – was being brought to UHL after collapsing at the scene.

CCTV footage shown at the court showed Mr O’Callaghan knocking over Anthony O’Brien on Pella Road, Kilrush and punching Mr O’Brien in the face, with force, on numerous occasions while he was on the ground.

Mr O’Callaghan of Beech Park, John Paul Estate, Kilrush pleaded guilty to seven charges from the incident.

Garda Hughes stated Mr O’Callaghan appeared to be on drugs. Counsel for Mr O’Callaghan, Mark Nicholas SC said he was “out of control” and what occurred was “an absolute disgrace”.

Anthony O’Brien was found lying on Pella Road bleeding from his face at 6.15pm on August 15th 2018.

As a result of the injuries that he sustained, Anthony O’Brien had to remain in hospital for two weeks.

Before the assault on Anthony O’Brien, Mr O’Callaghan carried out an unprovoked assault on his son, David O’Brien (33) and then forced entry into David O’Brien’s home and picked up a butter knife and threatened him with it.