Covid-19 threat denied by homeless woman accused of attacking two gardaí

Woman refused bail when she appeared in court

Defence solicitor Michael Kelleher said his client was vulnerable, had been bullied on the street and in recent times she had been in genuine fear. Photograph: Alan Betson /The Irish Times

Defence solicitor Michael Kelleher said his client was vulnerable, had been bullied on the street and in recent times she had been in genuine fear. Photograph: Alan Betson /The Irish Times

 

A homeless woman accused of attacking two gardaí in Dublin city-centre has been refused bail after a court heard she spat at them and threatened she had the coronavirus.

Julie McDonagh (34), who is of no fixed abode, was charged with assault causing harm to two gardaí at Marlborough Street, Dublin 1 on Tuesday. She also had connected charges for breach of the peace, being intoxicated and indecent behaviour in a Garda station.

She was refused bail after she appeared before Judge Grainne Malone at Dublin District Court on Wednesday.

Pleading for bail defence solicitor Michael Kelleher said his client was vulnerable, had been bullied on the street and in recent times she had been in genuine fear.

In this instance, she had been trying to get into a hostel because she was desperate to get off the street, but she had drink taken. He said there were garda suggestions she had been spitting and making Covid-19 threats, which are denied.

“She said she never said she had coronavirus, she did say she had Aids but did not say it in a threatening manner,” the solicitor said.

He told Judge Malone his client had been on the floor of a garda van distressed and restrained by gardaí.

She was animated and “may have been spitting inadvertently when she was talking upset; she was trying to communicate with gardaí”.

The solicitor said there was a distinction between deliberately spitting at gardaí and people who are distressed. Any spittle would have been accidental, he argued.

The court heard the woman had trying to get into a hostel but was refused and the staff may have had reason. That was when gardaí came across her.

Ms McDonagh spoke briefly during the hearing to say she was apologising to the hostel.

She was remanded in custody to appear again on Friday.