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New charges Man (31) charged with attempted murder of his mother in Inishannon, Co Cork

Mr Coughlan of Ballycoughlan, Innishannon, Co Cork, was previously charged with assault causing harm to his mother, Mary (62), outside Innishannon on June 4 last.


Gearoid Coughlan

Gearoid Coughlan

Gearoid Coughlan

A YOUNG man has been charged with the attempted murder of his mother after she was left fighting for her life with critical stab injuries at the family home in Cork.

Gearoid Coughlan (31) was charged with attempted murder before Bandon District Court.

Mr Coughlan of Ballycoughlan, Innishannon, Co Cork, was previously charged with assault causing harm to his mother, Mary (62), outside Innishannon on June 4 last.

He is now charged with the attempted murder of the mother of four on the same date and place.

The charge was brought contrary to Common Law.

He was further charged with assault causing serious harm to his mother contrary to Section 4 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Persons Act, 1997.

Inspector Dave Callaghan told Judge James McNulty that the State was now formally withdrawing the earlier assault causing harm charge.

Detective Garda Peter Nolan said that when the new charges were put to the defendant at 1.50pm in Bandon, he made no reply.

Mr Coughlan also faces two earlier minor theft charges.

The two charges involve eleven cans of beer and a bottle of gin.

Inspector Callaghan said that the State was asking for the theft charges to be referred to the September 2 sitting of Cork Circuit Criminal Court for the higher court to assess the defendant's ability to enter a plea.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had earlier indicated they could be dealt with on a summary basis before the district court.

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However, the State has sought the opinion of a higher court in light of issues over the defendant's ability to enter a plea.

This was with the consent of defence solicitor Plunkett Taaffe.

Judge McNulty was told that the State was also seeking to have Mr Coughlan remanded to the next sitting of the Central Criminal Court on the attempted murder and assault causing serious harm charges.

The district court does not have jurisdiction with bail on the charge involved.

The court was told that this application was also with the consent of Mr Taaffe.

Judge McNulty heard that this remand was on the basis of allowing the higher court to make an assessment on the defendant's ability to enter a plea.

The High Court staged a three day sitting last week on the lawfulness of Mr Coughlan's detention.

This was done on the basis of his ongoing remand in custody pending him securing a bed at the Central Mental Hospital (CMH).

When no space was available in the CMH, the High Court hearing was taken on whether Mr Coughlan's civil rights had been impacted.

Judge McNulty said it was "admirable" that the High Court dealt with the matter over three days and a High Court judge had then expeditiously delivered a 25-page judgement within 24 hours.

That judgement found that Mr Coughlan's ongoing remand in custody was lawful - and was the "least worst option available" given his mental health issues and the overall circumstances involved.

Judge McNulty granted the two remand applications and also certified free legal aid for Mr Coughlan.

He extended the legal aid certificate to cover a senior and junior counsel in the Central Criminal Court.

Mr Coughlan appeared in court wearing slacks and a white T-shirt.

A retired teacher, Mrs Coughlan was rushed to Cork University Hospital (CUH) in a critical condition on June 4 after she was discovered with serious stab injuries at her west Cork home.

She has since responded well to treatment and has been released from hospital to continue her recovery at home.

Mr Coughlan, on a previous occasion, addressed the court and expressed dissatisfaction with what he saw as unacceptable delays in the proceedings.

An earlier court sitting also heard that Mr Coughlan had not been taking his prescribed medication.

A report provided to the court by a consultant psychiatrist in Cork Prison outlined how Mr Coughlan had a longstanding history of paranoid schizophrenia and polysubstance drug abuse.

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