Man hit garda with pellet gun shot, court told

Tommy Mannah is brought to Cork District Court on firearms offences. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney

A 21-year-old man allegedly fired shots from a pellet gun at a garda striking his arm, firing again as he drove off.

He eventually crashed through the toll both barrier at Watergrasshill on the main Cork to Dublin motorway.

Tommy Mannah, who had been living at Military Road, Cork, was refused bail today by Judge Olann Kelleher at Cork District Court.

Detective Sergeant Kieran O’Sullivan objected to bail because of the seriousness of the charges and concerns about the welfare of the accused himself and members of the public if he was released on bail.

The four charges carry substantial maximum jail sentences on conviction, up to life imprisonment.

The court heard gardaí received a call at 11.30pm on Friday, July 3 about a man breaking into a car and being in possession of a firearm.

“Gardaí attended at the scene. Tommy Mannah returned with an alleged handgun which he discharged in the direction of gardaí hitting one member in the arm. He then got into the car and drove from the scene.

“He was signalled to stop and he failed. He discharged shot out the window of the car. He crashed through a barrier at the toll plaza.

“A stinger (device to puncture and disable a car) was placed on the motorway. Armed support unit members approached and identified themselves as armed gardaí. It is alleged that he discharged shots at the arm gardaí," Det. Sgt. O’Sullivan said.

He said a Tazer was discharged and the accused was successfully arrested. 

Given the matters before the court it is my belief (that he would commit further offences). It is my belief he is also using drugs at the moment.

“He was staying at an airbnb at Military Road but he has no address now.

“Due to the seriousness of the charges he would be a danger to himself and also to members of the public at large and go on to commit further offences,” Det. Sgt. O’Sullivan testified.

Eddie Burke, solicitor, cross-examined the witness stating that the defendant’s mother, Marianne, was willing to have her son living with her in Mallow, Co Cork.

The only reason he did not have the Military Road address available was because the lease was up since Sunday.

Mr Burke said a series of events occurred as a result of a dispute the defendant had with his partner in their apartment.  The car he took belonged to her and it was not a case of taking a car belonging to a random person.

Mr Burke said while not minimising the incidents the firearm referred to was an imitation and was actually a pellet gun which shot “small little white balls.” 

Det. Sgt. O’Sullivan said the defendant’s partner was struck in the eye and a garda was hit in the arm.

Mr Burke said the accused was attending a doctor and taking anti-psychotic drugs. 

Mr Burke asked the detective would he accept that bail could be granted on strict conditions. Det. Sgt. O’Sullivan did not agree with this proposition and said, “I don’t think he has grasped the seriousness of this. I don’t think he knows how serious this could have been. He has not given an explanation of how it escalated. If left out, we would have concerns about the interests of the defendant himself and the public at large.” 

In refusing bail the judge noted: “It is alleged firearms were discharged.” 

The accused was remanded in custody for one week.



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