Probationer garda pleads guilty to being intoxicated and Covid-19 regulation breach

Aoife Moore (27) nearly fell out of ambulance she was trying to get into with injured friend

A probationer garda tried to get into the back of an ambulance with an injured friend in breach of Covid-19 regulations and ended up being arrested for a public order offence, a court has heard.

Aoife Moore (27), from Church Street, Dungarvan Co Waterford, pleaded guilty at Dungarvan District Court to two charges arising out of the incident at Cluain na Greine, Dungarvan on June 7th last.

She pleaded guilty to being intoxicated in a public place at 5am on June 7th, contrary to Section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Public Health) Act 1994.

Moore also pleaded guilty to a breaching a regulations to prevent, limit, minimize or slow the spread of Covid-19, contrary to Section 31 (1) A of the Public Health Act 1947 at the same location at the same time.


Insp Stephen Murphy told the court that gardaí responded to a call regarding an altercation at the estate at around 11.30pm, but found nobody on the road when they arrived.

They called to a house where they found the defendant and some friends, who had been celebrating her birthday. One of the friends had sustained a leg injury during an altercation but had refused to go to hospital by ambulance.

Gardaí left the scene but at around 5am they received another call stating that Moore had called an ambulance for her friend, who had agreed to go to hospital to get treatment.


The court heard Moore was very unsteady on her feet and nearly fell out of the back of the ambulance despite paramedics explaining to her that she could not accompany her friend to hospital as it was against Covid-19 regulations.

Insp Murphy said that Garda Damian Ring formed the opinion that Moore was intoxicated to the point that she was a danger to herself and to others and arrested her. He said Moore called to Dungarvan Garda station later that day to apologise for her behaviour. She had no previous convictions and had not come to Garda attention since.

Defence barrister Donnchadh Morgan pleaded leniency for his client, who he said was deeply regretful and ashamed over her behaviour on the night. He said that she worked hard to fulfill her ambition of becoming a garda, including going to a personal trainer to help her achieve the necessary level of fitness.

AA meetings

He said that Moore also recognised that she had an issue with alcohol and had not touched any drink since and was regularly attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Mr Morgan said it was an isolated incident that would have consequences for her career and he asked Judge Terence Finn to consider applying the Probation Act and allowing her to make a donation to the Garda Benevolent Fund.

Judge Finn accepted Moore's guilty pleas and that she had previously and since been of good character. However, he said the fact that she was a member of An Garda Síochána set the bar at a higher level for her.

He said that while he did not believe a custodial sentence was merited in relation to the breach of Covid-19 regulations, he wanted to reflect on the matter and adjourned the case until June 2nd.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times