Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Olivia Kelleher

A former Fianna Fáil councillor who was charged with the harassment of a female in Cork city last year will have to wait until March for directions in the case from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Joseph O’Donovan, formerly known as Gary O’Flynn, appeared before Cork District Court on Wednesday after being charged in August last year with one count of harassment. The alleged offence occurred on three dates between July 30th and August 6th, 2022, in Cork city. 

Dt Sgt Katrine Tansley previously gave evidence of the arrest, charge and caution of the 47-year-old. She said the accused made no reply when the charge was put to him under caution at the Bridewell Garda Station in Cork city. The alleged offence is contrary to Section 10 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997. 

On Wednesday at the court Sgt Pat Lyons applied for a further adjournment of the case until March 1st to allow for DPP directions.

Defence solicitor Frank Buttimer said his client had turned up in court on every occasion and was under restrictive bail conditions since last August. Mr Buttimer said it was a relatively straightforward case and that he couldn’t understand the delay in relation to DPP directions. 

Judge Olann Kelleher adjourned the case to March 1st. Mr O’Donovan was remanded on bail until his next court appearance.

The former councillor must adhere to certain stringent  bail conditions pending his next court appearance. 

Mr O’Donovan must remain out of the area of Cork city centre except for medical or legal appointments. He must stay away from specific streets in Cork city.

Mr O’Donovan was also previously ordered to abstain from all intoxicants in public and to sign on three times a week at Gurranabraher Garda Station on the northside of Cork city. He must also reside at his home in Melvindale House, Coolowen, Blarney, Co Cork. 

Mr O’Donovan must have no contact, direct or indirect, with the alleged injured party in the case. This also applies to social media.  He also must obey a curfew from 10pm to 7am daily. 

Mr O’Donovan is the son of former TD Noel O’Flynn, who served in the constituency of Cork North Central from 1997 until his retirement in 2011. Joseph O’Donovan, when he was known as Gary O’Flynn, was a sitting councillor in Cork city from 2003 to 2008.

He took his father’s old seat on the council in 2003 when the dual mandate ban came in to force. He concluded his political career five years later with his seat going to his brother, Ken, who has held a seat ever since. Ken O’Flynn is an independent councillor on the northside of Cork city. 

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