Former Bundoran town councillor found guilty of assaulting garda

Altercation in the Town Council carpark led to charges

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Former Bundoran town councillor found guilty of assaulting garda

Florence McNulty, a former town councillor, convicted of assaulting garda.

A former Bundoran Town Councillor was found guilty of assaulting a garda at a special sitting of Ballyshannon District Court earlier today.

The charges arose following an incident  in a carpark outside the then Bundoran Town Council offices in February 2014.

Florence McNulty (56) of The Palace, Main Street, Bundoran, denied assaulting Garda Helen Munnelly.
She claimed it was in fact she who was the victim of an assault from fellow Cllr Sean McEniff. She alleged Cllr McEniff closed a door on her at the offices of Bundoran Town Council, causing  her injury as she tried to enter a meeting.
A subsequent altercation in the Town Council carpark led to charges against Mrs McNulty and two other members of her family.
Cllr McEniff did not attend court to give evidence on health grounds following an accident abroad in October.

Eight days of special sittings
After eight days of special court sittings which were spread over the last seven months, Judge Paul Kelly found Mrs McNulty guilty of assaulting Garda Munnelly.
Her husband Thomas (57) also of Main Street, Bundoran was found guilty of threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour as was Mrs McNulty’s son Joseph (35) of 85 Doran Close, Bundoran.
All three have appealed their convictions.
The incident occurred on February 10, 2014.


Witnesses

Having heard from numerous witnesses and studied CCTV footage, Judge Kelly ruled: “There is no doubt whatsoever that Joseph and Thomas engaged in threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour.”
In regard to the assault of Garda Helen Munnelly by Florence McNulty, Judge Kelly said CCTV was not of much assistance. He ruled that garda evidence claiming that Mrs McNulty assaulted Garda Munnelly to impede her in handcuffing Joseph was more reliable than that of the defence.
Florence McNulty was bound to the peace for one year on her own bond of €250. Thomas McNulty was fined €750. Joseph McNulty, who had a number of previous public order convictions, was fined €1,500.

Joseph McNulty, left,  and Thomas McNulty.


Counsel for the Defence, Mr Johnnie McCoy BL, said: “It has been a very difficult time for all involved and the family’s thoughts are with Cllr McEniff.

“As a councillor, Florence took an active part in politics and had a good name. Hopefully a line can be drawn under this.”
Judge Kelly granted applications by the defence and the prosecution for audio recordings of the hearing.