Tuesday, March 01, 2022

A FENAGH woman received a four-month prison sentence after a judge described a probation report as one of the most negative she had read in recent times. Nicola Brennan (30) of Woodglade, Fenagh had pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour and failing to comply with gardaí at Ardristan, Tullow on 18 September 2020.

At a previous sitting of the case, the court was told that gardaí responded to a road traffic incident, where they encountered the defendant. Ms Brennan’s behaviour was described as “nothing short of appalling” as she abused emergency services, who were trying to help her. She was also abusive and threatening to gardaí and failed to desist. The defendant had 22 previous convictions.

The case had been adjourned until last week for a probation report.

Defending solicitor Joe Farrell said: “I think the main issue before the court is the manner in which she dealt with An Garda Síochána. An accident had taken place and she failed to comply with directions … she was a passenger in the car; her role was minor.”

Mr Farrell said his client also “got caught up in matters in recent weeks”. He said the probation report would have been requested in order to give the court some comfort, if she was to retain her liberty. “She seemed to have turned a corner, but has failed again,” he said.

The solicitor noted that his client had attended one of two scheduled meetings with the probation services. Mr Farrell said his client had been living just over the border in Wicklow and had to attend the probation services in Bray. A taxi to an appointment had cost her €60.

Mr Farrell said she had got back in contact with the probation services but accepted that “that ship may have sailed”.

The defendant was accompanied by her mother in court.

Judge Geraldine Carthy said she took a particular view when a defendant was afforded an opportunity but did not take it.

“It’s possibly one of the most negative (probation reports) I have read in recent times,” she said.

Judge Carthy said it was still concerning that Ms Brennan was coming to the attention of gardaí. “It comes to a stage where a line has to be drawn in the sand,” she said.

Judge Carthy imposed a four-month sentence for failing to comply with gardaí. The judge said the defendant had been afforded opportunities, including the ***Probation Act*** and a suspended sentence previously. Recognisances were fixed in the event of an appeal, including a €500 cash lodgement. Ms Brennan was unable to take up bail and was placed into custody.


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