Temporary emergency department set to open in September – Connacht Tribune – Galway City Tribune:
A duck leg became a dangerous weapon in the hands of an inebriated woman who threw it at a neighbour’s daughter, dislocating her nose.
Bianca Fahy, 49, discovered she had Covid-19 a few days earlier but took off her mask to cough and spit on Gardaí when they arrived to deal with a fracas between her and her neighbors in An Sean Bhaile, Doughiska at 3 p.m. on February 3.
Fahy pleaded guilty moments before the start of his trial before a jury at Galway Circuit Criminal Court last November to assaulting the 15-year-old girl, causing her harm, on that date.
She also pleaded guilty to two separate charges of assaulting Garda Seamus McDonnell and Garda Ciaran McCarthy while obstructing them in the performance of their duties.
Fahy further pleaded guilty to breach of peace, by engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting words or behavior to An Sean Bhaile and being drunk in public at the same time. Sentencing had been adjourned in the case so far.
Prosecuting attorney Geri Silke said the state is only prosecuting the assaults on the teen and Garda McDonnell, and the pleas are acceptable based on ‘all the facts’ regarding the charges. remaining.
Sergeant Grace Hennessy testified that the girl noticed Fahy outside her home punching a kickboxing dummy, trying to knock him down. Fahy finally managed to knock the dummy over and was trying to burn it when a young man came out of the house to try and stop him.
Fahy assaulted him then turned his attention to his sister, hitting her in the face with a duck leg she had in her hand at the time.
The girl had to have her dislocated nose realigned at the hospital.
When Garda McDonnell and McCarthy arrived, a group of neighbors had gathered.
Fahy was running towards them, roaring and screaming and trying to mug them.
Both Gardaí were aware that Fahy had tested positive for Covid-19 a few days prior and while she was wearing a face mask they repeatedly asked her to keep her distance from members of the public.
“She lowered her mask and coughed on both Gardaí. She shouted at them that she had Covid and continued to lash out, refusing to keep her social distance.
“Garda McCarthy had no choice but to hold her back and when he went to do so she kicked him in the leg. He was bruised and tender for a few weeks afterward,” a said Sgt Hennessy.
Fahy was arrested and later denied hitting the 15-year-old.
In her victim impact statement, which was read into evidence on her behalf, the girl said she no longer felt safe in her home.
She said she also felt embarrassed about her nose as it no longer had the same shape as before the attack.
The girl said she and her family still wondered why Fahy was attacking their home. “I will be terrified if she is not punished for her threats,” the girl added in her statement.
Impact statements from both Gardaí were also read into evidence. Garda McCarthy said he knew before arriving at the scene that Fahy had had Covid from caring for her before and he and Garda McDonnell asked her to stay away from them to prevent the spread of the virus.
“It was during a time when there was no vaccine and deaths were high. She ignored us and ran towards us, took off her mask, coughed and spat on it,” he said. declared.
He said he had to put a spit mask on her before he and Garda McDonnell could stop her.
The two Gardaí had to undergo two PCR tests and isolate themselves from family and work colleagues for two weeks.
He said they were also short of work at a time when resources were stretched due to the pandemic.
“It was a horrible and totally unnecessary experience. She committed a serious assault as she attempted to infect both of us,” he added.
Both Gardai did not contract Covid and were able to return to work on February 19.
In his impact statement, Garda McDonnell said he had been a Garda for 24 years and had known Fahy through his work for over ten years.
That day, she was very drunk and did not calm down, he said.
He found the 14-day Covid isolation period particularly distressing while having to take two PCR tests was not pleasant either.
He said Fahy’s behavior meant he had to endure the torture of having to self-isolate for two weeks.
“It was two weeks away from my family and friends. It was lonely and stressful and it brought the reality of the pandemic back to me and my family. I hope I never have to go through that again , it was a lonely time,” he said in his statement.
Sgt Hennessy said Fahy had lived at An Sean Bhaile for several years and caused a lot of trouble there. She says she has since been relocated to Knocknacarra on the other side of town.
Fahy was ‘nice and easy’ to deal with when sober, she said, before adding that she had 119 previous convictions.
Ten were for assault, 20 for robbery, six for criminal damage and six for obstructing Gardai. The others concerned traffic offenses, breaches of public order and one for possession of a knife.
Defense attorney Garry MacDonald said his client apologized to Gardaí and his former neighbours.
He said his client was “extremely entertaining and fun to be around” when she was sober and hadn’t reoffended since moving to Knocknacarra.
Judge Brian O’Callaghan disagreed, observing that Fahy was a threat while noting that probation considered her to be at high risk of reoffending.
Mr MacDonald admitted his client had been a common sight in the District Court across the hall over the years and was well known to Gardaí, but all of his offenses were related to his drinking problem and she was a nice lady when she was sober, he said.
“She hit this young woman with a duck leg. If it wasn’t so serious, it would be funny,” the attorney said.
“She needs to smell the coffee at this point in her life,” Judge O’Callaghan said before sentencing Fahy to two years in prison with the last six months suspended for two years for the first assault.
He ordered that she be kept in peace for two years and placed under the supervision of the probation service for 18 months upon her release from prison. She must also abstain from alcohol and drug use and undergo random drug testing as directed by the probation service.
The judge imposed a similar sentence on Fahy for the assault on Garda McDonnell, describing it as a particularly nasty assault. He considered the remaining public order charges and ordered Fahy to be credited with time already served during his pre-trial detention in prison pending sentencing on those charges alone.
(Photo: The incident took place at An Sean Bhaile in Doughiska).