mask of sorrow | 

Knuckleduster and stolen garda car keys found on dad after row over facemask

Michael Shanley admitted public order and drug charges


A FATHER-of-one was found to be in possession of stolen garda car keys and a knuckleduster after a street row when he tried to force a man to wear a face mask.

Michael Shanley (50) said the weapon was not his and he denied all knowledge of the keys, which had gone missing when a garda was making arrests at a separate public order disturbance earlier.

Judge Bryan Smyth found him guilty and gave him an eight-month suspended sentence.

Shanley, of no fixed address, had admitted public order and drug charges but denied the other offences.

Garda Michael Murphy told Dublin District Court he saw Shanley at Wolfe Tone Park, in Jervis Street, Dublin, on December 15, 2020. He was trying to forcibly place a mask on a man’s face, shouting “there’s your f**king mask”.

When gardaí stopped him, he used obscenities and smelled strongly of cannabis.

He said he used the drug for medicinal reasons.

Gardaí found two small bags of cannabis in a pocket but Shanley was reluctant to remove his hand from another and a black steel knuckleduster was found.

He said: “Fine, it’s not mine though.”

When questioned, Shanley became aggressive, threw his jacket on the floor, resisted arrest and dropped a set of garda car keys that he had in his hoodie.

A garda patrol car driver had radioed that he realised they were missing from his stab vest during “jostling” at a public order disturbance on Mary Street earlier.

The garda had seen Shanley at the scene, recording the incident.

Shanley claimed the knuckleduster was in a bag he had found and he did not even realise it was inside. He said he had never seen the keys before and did not drop them.

Shanley’s barrister Donal Pattison said his client suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder following a serious assault 20 years ago.

Today's Headlines

More Courts

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices