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highly aggressive Four gardaí needed to restrain mum who thrashed out after bus face mask dispute, court told

Niamh Irwin (39) tried to light a concealed lighter in the patrol van and threatened gardaí: 'You don't know who you're messing with'

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Niamh Irwin had case struck out after a €300 charity donation

Niamh Irwin had case struck out after a €300 charity donation

Niamh Irwin had case struck out after a €300 charity donation

It took four gardaí to restrain a "highly aggressive" mother-of-one who thrashed out after she was told she could not travel on a Dublin bus without a face mask.

Niamh Irwin (39) tried to light a concealed lighter in the patrol van and threatened gardaí: "You don't know who you're messing with."

Dublin District Court heard she had "over-indulged" in alcohol when she took a day off and "let loose a bit" on St Patrick's Day. She felt she was being unfairly treated and "totally over-reacted."

Judge Bryan Smyth struck the case out after she made a €300 charity donation.

Ms Irwin, a health care assistant from Clonmagadden Park, Navan, Co Meath, pleaded guilty to threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour and resisting arrest.

Gardaí got a call from a Dublin Bus driver at 7.45pm on March 17, reporting a "highly aggressive female" at Beresford Place.

Gardaí saw the accused, who had been refused travel, shouting aggressively at the driver.

She was "immediately aggressive" to gardaí, who advised her that she would not be allowed to travel on the bus without a face covering.

Ms Irwin repeatedly cursed at the garda, called him names and raised her hand in a threatening manner. She refused to provide her details and tried to escape gardaí, who had to pursue her.

She proceeded to "thrash out" and "heavily resisted" gardaí. She raised her elbows in an abrupt and threatening manner, almost hitting one of them.

In the patrol van, Ms Irwin tried to start a lighter, causing a risk and the lighter had to be forcibly taken from her.

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Ms Irwin did have a face mask, was trying to find it, and felt she was treated unfairly, her solicitor said. The accused suffered from anxiety, had been struggling during the pandemic and it was her day off.

She "let loose a bit" and was "enjoying herself", but it "went way beyond that."

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