Limerick hurler appeals jail sentence for committing perjury

Pat Ryan with the Liam MacCarthy Cup after Limerick's 2021 All-Ireland victory.

THREE-time All-Ireland winning Limerick hurler Pat Ryan has appealed a jail sentence imposed on him earlier today when he pleaded guilty to committing perjury during judicial proceedings in which he was accused of speeding.

Limerick District Court Judge Patricia Harney said that the 27 year-old  from Doon had told a “brazen lie” when he gave evidence before the court on October 21, 2020.

He stated then that he had not received a fixed charge penalty notice after a Garda detected him exceeding the national roads speed limit in 2018.

Some time after Mr Ryan told the 2020 hearing that he had not received notification of the alleged speeding offence, Gardaí discovered he had sent an image of the speeding notice from his mobile phone to a third party.

After Gardaí outlined the facts of the case, Judge Harney told Mr Ryan: “This is serous stuff. You’re not getting away with it.”

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Garda Darren John Swan of the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, told today’s hearing that he arrested and charged Mr Ryan at Mayorstone Garda Station this morning.

Gda Swan said Mr Ryan had appeared before the court on October 21, 2020, accused of speeding and gave sworn evidence that he had not received notification of the alleged speeding offence.

It was later discovered that Mr Ryan had forwarded an image of the speeding notice from his mobile phone to a third party who was not identified in court.

“This contradicted Mr Ryan’s sworn evidence,” said Gda Swan who added that he was arrested on March 10, 2021 on suspicion of committing perjury during the 2020 court hearing.

Garda Swan told Judge Harney that the Director of Public Prosecutions “recommended it be dealt with by summary disposal” before the district court.

Garda Swan said Mr Ryan had one previous conviction, on June 27, 2022, for holding a mobile phone while driving.

Judge Harney told Mr Ryan’s defence solicitor Con Barry: “This is pretty serious stuff, he’s not getting away with it.”

Mr Barry said Mr Ryan had “put his hands up” and had fully cooperated with the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Judge Harney replied, “it’s the least he  could do”.

“He got caught; he expected not to get caught, and now he is in serious trouble. He is facing a jail sentence,” the judge said.

Mr Barry appealed again for leniency, to which the judge retorted: “Talk to me about truth, about veracity. This goes to the core of the entire administration of justice.

“He told a brazen lie in the face of this court. The whole criminal justice system is based on truth given to the courts. Your client is facing very, very serious trouble,” she added.

Gardaí told Judge Harney that the maximum sentence she could impose was six months in prison and or a fine of up to €5,000.

Appealing to the judge not to jail Mr Ryan, Mr Barry said: “This will effect him throughout his life, his ability to travel, it will have a tremendous effect on him for years”.

Judge Harney said she was “not satisfied that a fine was the way to deal with it”.

Imposing a two-week jail sentence, Judge Harney said the “brazen nature” of his evidence in 2020 “cuts to the heart of the criminal justice system”.

Mr Barry immediately appealed the sentence and Judge Harney fixed recognisances, remanding Mr Ryan on bail, on his own bond of €100, which did not have to be lodged.

“If another court takes a different view, so be it, but it is far too serious,” Judge Harney said.