Five men charged after garda car attacked at Traveller halting site in Cork

Man allegedly attacked garda car with slash hook

Five men have appeared in court following an incident when gardaí had a narrow escape when their patrol car was allegedly attacked by a man wielding a slash hook during a visit to a Traveller encampment in Co Cork at the weekend. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Five men have appeared in court following an incident when gardaí had a narrow escape when their patrol car was allegedly attacked by a man wielding a slash hook during a visit to a Traveller encampment in Co Cork at the weekend. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

 

Five men have appeared in court following an incident when gardaí had a narrow escape when their patrol car was allegedly attacked by a man wielding a slash hook during a visit to a Traveller encampment in Co Cork at the weekend.

Security was tight as gardaí brought the five men, Simon Qulligan (51), his sons Sammy (23) and Shane (26), Martin Harty (24) and James Sheehan (30) before a special sitting of Cork District Court on Anglesea Street on Sunday.

Sammy Quilligan, with an address at Carraig Rua, Nenagh, Co Tipperary, was charged with a total of five offences, arising out of the incident at the unofficial halting site at Sitecast Industrial Estate, Little Island, Co Cork on April 4th.

Sammy Quilligan was charged with causing criminal damage to a garda patrol car and with possession of a slash hook, contrary to Section 9 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act at the Sitecast Industrial Estate on April 4th.

He was also charged with three public order offences including engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour, being intoxicated in a public place and with resisting Garda Paul Buckley during the execution of his duties.

Shane Quilligan, also of Carraig Rua, Nenagh, Co Tipperary was charged with producing a wooden stick and attempting to assault a member of An Garda Siochána, contrary to Section 11 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act.

Public order offences

He was also charged with two public order offences of engaging in threatening, abusive of insulting behaviour, being intoxicated in a public place, all at the same location on the same date.

Simon Quilligan of Kilcoolishal, Glounthaune, Co Cork was charged with engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour, being intoxicated in a public place and resisting Garda Brian O’Sullivan in the execution of his duties.

Mr Harty of the Coachyard, Nenagh, Co Tipperary and Mr Sheehan of St Catherine’s, Grange, Co Waterford were each charged with the same public order offences as Simon Quilligan at the same location and date.

Insp Pat Murphy said that gardaí were objecting to bail for both Sammy Quilligan and Shane Quilligan because they feared they would commit further offences and would not stand trial if granted bail on the charges.

Garda Amy Lee Quinn said gardaí were objecting to bail for both on the grounds of the seriousness of the charges which arose from an incident when gardaí followed a car driving erratically to the unofficial halting site

She said the State would allege Sammy Quilligan attacked gardaí with a slash hook, twice hitting and smashing the passenger window of their patrol car and although the two officers were not injured, they had to retreat from the site.

She said the State would allege that when gardaí returned backed up by re-enforcements, Shane Quilligan emerged from a caravan armed with a wooden stick and attempted to attack gardaí with it before he was overpowered.

Deny

Sammy Quilligan denied the charges, saying he had no recollection of attacking anyone and all he could remember was coming out his van, being pushed to the ground and pepper-sprayed by gardaí before being arrested.

Shane Quilligan also denied the charges, saying there was no truth to the allegation that he had a stick and he said he came out of his van and threw himself on the ground and pleaded with gardaí not to pepper-spray him.

Both men confirmed to their solicitor, Pat Horan that they were willing to abide by any conditions being sought by gardaí in relation to bail including residing at their home addresses, signing on daily and abiding by a curfew.

Judge Mary Dorgan asked the two men why they were in Cork given that they had home addresses in Nenagh and given that the Government had directed that people not travel more than 2kms from their home.

Sammy Quilligan said he was now living with his father at the unofficial halting site and Shane Quillivan said that he had come by bus from Nenagh to Cork on Saturday to see his father as he was concerned about him as he wasn’t well.

Judge Dorgan refused Sammy Quilligan bail and remanded him to appear by video link to Cork District Court on April 8th while Shane Quilligan consented to a remand in custody to also appear at the same court on the same date.

Judge Dorgan remanded Mr Quilligan Snr, Mr Harty and Mr Sheehan on strict bail terms, all to appear again at Cork District Court on April 8th but she excused their attendance on that date due to the coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, pandemic.