berserk | 

Drunk Donegal student pepper sprayed by gardai after hurling abuse and resisting arrest

Cathy Murphy said she was ‘absolutely embarrassed’ and had not had a drink since the incident

Cathy Murphy

Stephen MaguireSunday World

A young woman who is studying to work with troubled teenagers had to be pepper-sprayed by Gardai after she went berserk when stopped in a car while drunk.

Cathy Murphy was a passenger in a car which was stopped by Gardai in Letterkenny, Co Donegal on February 1st, 2022.

Gardai stopped the car to speak with the driver at Glentain Manor but Murphy, who was a front seat passenger, began to interrupt Gardai.

She began to hurl abuse at Garda Corin Cahill as she tried to speak with the driver and would not stop when asked to desist by Gardai.

Gardai eventually arrested the 29-year-old accused under the Public Order Act.

However, Murphy continued to shout abuse and resist arrest and Gardai were forced to use their pepper spray on the woman before putting her in handcuffs and taking her to Letterkenny Garda Station.

Murphy, with an address at Meadowbank in Letterkenny, was charged with being intoxicated in a public place, interfering with Gardai and causing a breach of the peace.

Her solicitor, Mr Rory O'Brien, said his client was a single mother of three children who had moved to Donegal from Dublin to start a new life.

He said she had no previous convictions, was never in trouble before and was "absolutely embarrassed that she had allowed herself to act in such a way."

He said she was in a car with a family member and obviously had alcohol taken but should have never reacted the way she did when stopped by Gardai.

He added that his client was currently undertaking an adult education course with the hope of working with young people who had themselves strayed off the path of life.

"She has committed a wrong but has led a blameless life and anybody can make one mistake in their life," he added.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham said this was a serious matter especially when Gardai had to go to the extent of using their pepper spray.

Judge Cunningham said she wanted to hear from the accused.

Ms Murphy said "I am truly sorry and I generally don't behave that way. I have never been in trouble but I had been drinking since twelve o'clock that day."

She added that she had not had a drink since the incident.

Judge Cunningham ordered the accused to pay a donation of €200 to Little Blue Heroes and adjourned the case until May 8th next.


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