Limerick man to be sentenced for threatening to kill garda detective

 

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Darren O’Halloran is to be sentenced this Friday at Limerick Circuit Court

A LIMERICK man who was found guilty of threatening to kill a Detective Garda and burn his house down is to face sentence at Limerick Circuit Court this Friday.

Darren ‘Joey’ O’Halloran (31), a father-of-four from Aurea Cottage, Dublin Road was convicted of the offences last week after a four-day trial, in which a little more than an hour of evidence was heard.

He had denied threatening to kill Detective Pat Whelan in a phone call to Henry Street Garda Station on April 2, 2015. He also denied threatening to cause damage when he said he would burn down Detective Whelan’s home after identifying his address during the call.

The court heard that Gardaí called to O’Halloran’s home a few days earlier at around 2am when they found him hiding in an attic under some insulation but no arrests were made on that occasion.

A caller identifying themselves as Darren O’Halloran phoned Henry Street Garda Station on April 2 when threats were made and Detective Whelan was told he would be run off the road and have his house burned down.

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O’Halloran was arrested the following day when he was interviewed on three occasions by Detective Garda David Burke. He denied making the threats and talking to any Garda on the phone the previous day and said he had no problem with Detective Garda Whelan.

Judge Tom O’Donnell was told that O’Halloran was among a number of people investigated for being part of a gang carrying out crimes throughout Limerick and in neighbouring counties.

He denied making the threats and said it would be a foolish and “stupid” thing to do. At the time the call was made to Henry Street Garda Station, he was outside his house “shoeing a pony” and that he wouldn’t do anything like that.

During the trial, Detective Garda Whelan said he was fearful for the safety of his family after the caller identified his address, his movements and certain other details that were not commonly known.

He said that the caller, whom he identified as Darren O’Halloran, said would be rammed off the road.

“I’m very familiar with this man, I’ve spoken to him many times,” said Detective Whelan as he added that he was “absolutely 100 per cent” sure it was Darren O’Halloran making the call.

As the trial entered its final stages last Thursday, the jury foreman told Judge O’Donnell that a phone call on Wednesday night informed her that she was related to the accused man through marriage.

The jury was reduced to 11 members who returned a guilty verdict on both counts.

Darren O’Halloran was remanded in custody until next Friday for Judge O’Donnell to pass sentence.