Autism and anti-far-right campaigner Fiona O’Leary confronted Deegan as two gardai escorted him to a waiting patrol car
Autism and anti-far-right campaigner Fiona O’Leary confronted Deegan as two gardai escorted him to a waiting patrol car outside Cork Circuit Court sitting in Clonakilty.
A distraught Fiona can be heard on video calling out to the 55-year-old: “Enjoy jail Eamon … what you did to my family … monster!”
Deegan (55) with an address at Springfield Court, Celbridge, Co Kildare, had appeared in court earlier on Thursday to appeal a 10-month sentence imposed on him in the District Court in July this year for harassing Ms O’Leary.
At his original court hearing, details of his harassment of Ms O’Leary, a mother of five children, four of whom have autism, was heard.
The harassment took place between June 3 and June 7, 2019, Deegan beginning with silent phone calls in the middle of the night before then sending direct messages through the Messenger app.
In the messages — the first batch of which Ms O’Leary did not respond to — he called her “f***ing vile” and said “you are a big bag of suicide waiting to happen”.
He said Ms O’Leary was “f***ed up” and referring to one of her sons, who is also autistic, said: “Would you not focus on that f*** up you raised?”.
In another message he said: “You are not autistic. Bitch, I’m talking to you.”
In another he said: “There is no such thing as autism, you are just a bad mother.”
Again, referring to Ms O’Leary’s son he said: “I am willing to experiment on him.”
In another he said: “I want to experiment on your child, I am a Mensa level polymath.”
Details of Deegan’s previous convictions were also heard at the July hearing, including five for misuse of drugs, one for the sale and supply of drugs, and six for possession of knives.
Jailing Deegan for 10 months, Judge James McNulty said Deegan’s “fondness for knives and his history of drug use would give the injured party genuine cause for concern,” he said.
Deegan subsequently appealed the severity of the sentence and was released on bail — but breached the terms of his bail in August by abusing another woman whose child had recently taken her own life.
At Thursday’s sitting, Judge Helen Boyle affirmed the 10-month prison sentence before suspending the last two months.
Deegan was also bound to the peace for a period of two years and barred from having any contact with Ms O’Leary or her family for a period of five years.
He was also barred from setting up anonymous online accounts and from coming within 200 meters of Ms. O’Leary.
Speaking afterwards, Ms O’Leary said: “Knowing that I can have a Christmas where I won’t be threatened or harassed by him is a huge relief.”