Wife of SF deputy among three fined for public order offences


The wife of Sinn Féin TD Mr Aengus Ó Snodaigh, her sister and a student were all found guilty yesterday of public order offences in Dublin city centre after they left a party last May.

Aisling Ní Dalaigh, the TD's wife, of Decies Road, Ballyfermot, was fined €250 for breach of the peace with drunkenness taken into account in Dublin District Court.

Her sister, Niamh Ní Dalaigh, an education administrator, received a fine of €150 for obstruction with breach of the peace taken into account.

Martin Farrell, a civil engineering student living in the city centre, was fined €100 for obstruction with breach of the peace taken into account.

They have been given three months to pay.

All three denied the charges. They said that they had attended a Sinn Féin function at the Abbey Hotel. They denied being drunk or using foul language to gardaí.

Judge William Early said that normally he would consider applying the Probation Act.

"However, people who invoke political parties and other organisations in their support to threaten gardaí do not, it seems to me, deserve the Probation Act," he said.

At 3.10 a.m. on May 27th, 2004, in Middle Abbey Street, Garda Bernard Mullens and Garda Enda McCarthy were calling an ambulance. As this happened, a person threw a glass at the patrol car.

"I have no doubt whatsoever that the person who threw the glass was Ms Aisling Ní Dalaigh," said Judge Early.

Garda Mullens said he heard glass smashing and a barman, Mr Dermot Walsh, said that it had come from a woman standing in a group outside the Abbey Hotel.

The garda started to ask the woman, Aisling Ní Dalaigh, about it. He said she was drunk.

She was raising her arms to him, flailing them, cursing and shouting. He tried to handcuff her, but people round them kept interrupting him.

"Other people were trying to stop us from arresting her. They told us we'd be in trouble as her husband is a TD," he said.

"She was still kicking and squirming and resisting arrest, and had to be lifted and carried to the back of the van."

She herself had never mentioned her husband.

When she was put in the van, Niamh Ní Dalaigh was opening the doors and the inner caged door of the van with Martin Farrell, whom he arrested for obstruction.

He said Niamh Ní Dalaigh had been very aggressive, shouting at people, and had made a number of references to Sinn Féin, saying that the other person's husband was a TD.

Garda Gareth Kane said that he had seen Niamh Ní Dalaigh at the scene. "She called me a 'f****** scumbag' and 'Free State bastard'." She had been arrested after opening the van doors.

At Store Street Garda station she had said that the other prisoner was the wife of a Sinn Féin TD, and that he would lose his job, he said.

A charge of criminal damage against Aisling Ní Dalaigh and one of assault by Niamh Ní Dalaigh were struck out.