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Court hears drunk electrician approached garda with wheel brace after mask incident

Stephen Maher had earlier been asked to leave a supermarket for not wearing a face mask

Stephen Maher of Melville Cove, Finglas, admitted public intoxication and was fined €200

Eimear Cotter

A trainee electrician approached gardaí armed with a wheel brace after they arrested his friend, a court has heard.

Stephen Maher (24) had earlier been asked to leave a supermarket as he was not wearing a face mask.

Maher dropped the weapon when gardaí identified themselves, a witness said.

Judge Brendan O’Reilly fined Maher €200 and ordered him to complete 100 hours of community service in lieu of one month in prison.

The defendant, with an address at Melville Cove in Finglas, admitted public intoxication and possession of a wheel brace at Supervalu in Donabate on July 21, 2021.

Garda Karl McNamara told Swords District Court that he and Garda Alan Carroll were in Supervalu making enquiries about another matter.

Maher and a second male entered the shop without wearing face masks, and they were asked to leave.

Gda McNamara said officers then spoke to Maher’s friend about a theft matter, and he was arrested and put in the back of the patrol car.

Gda McNamara said Maher had gone away, but came back armed with a wheel brace.

He stood near Gda Carroll in a threatening manner, Gda McNamara told the court.

He said Gda Carroll identified himself as a garda and Maher dropped the weapon. The court heard Maher was highly intoxicated at the time.

Gda McNamara said Maher did not have the wheel brace when he first entered the supermarket.

He said he believed Maher had gone back to a car outside and picked it up.

Defence lawyer Annette Kealy said Maher had apologised to gardaí, and they had accepted it as genuine.

Ms Kealy said Maher had battled drug problems in the past, but had worked very hard to become drug-free, and was working as an apprentice electrician.

Ms Kealy said Maher’s head was “cloudy” at the time of this incident and he was under the influence of intoxicants.

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