A 47-year old sales account manager punched a taxi driver and screamed that he was going to kill him during a taxi journey outside Ennis, a court has heard.
By Gordon Deegan
At Ennis District Court, Judge Mary Larkin said that a drunken Brendan Farrell “scared the living daylights” out of Limerick taxi driver, Niall Moran (57) during the incident on a road at Clonroadmore on the outskirts of Ennis on June 23rd 2020.
Judge Larkin imposed a suspended one month prison term on Mr Farrell of Rowlagh Avenue, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 for the unprovoked assault on Mr Moran during the aborted Limerick to Ennistymon taxi journey.
Sgt Louis Moloney said that the assault by Mr Farrell on Mr Moran took place shortly after Mr Farrell left hospital in Limerick concerning a separate road incident with Gardaí outside Clarecastle, Co Clare earlier on the day of June 23rd 2020.
Judge Larkin imposed a separate suspended one month prison term for the Clarecastle incident concerning Mr Farrell obstructing a Garda during the course of his duties when resisting arrest.
Solicitor for Mr Farrell, Tara Godfrey said that Mr Farrell “has apologised to everyone involved in this terrible day”.
Sgt Louis Moloney said that prior to punching Mr Moran, Mr Farrell grabbed the taxi steering wheel and tried to crash the car before Mr Moran was able to regain control.
Sgt Moloney said that earlier the taxi had stopped at a shop where Mr Farrell purchased two bottles of vodka and proceeded to drink one of those on the journey.
Sgt Moloney said after the assault in the taxi, Mr Moran escaped the taxi, took the car keys and flagged down a passing Garda car.
Sgt Moloney stated that Mr Farrell was drunk at the scene and abusive to a Garda before he was arrested.
Sgt Moloney said that Mr Moran had minor bruising and didn’t require hospital attention.
Sgt Moloney said that five hours earlier in the completely unrelated incident, Mr Farrell’s blue BMW was seen swerving to both sides of the road between Clarecastle and Latoon bridge.
Gardai activated the blue lights on a patrol car as oncoming traffic had to avoid Mr Farrell’s BMW.
When Mr Farrell’s car came to a stop, Sgt Moloney said that Gardai noticed damage to the front of the car and Mr Farrell was bleeding from his head and nose.
Gardai also spotted a Smirnoff vodka bottle in the foot well on the driver’s side.
Sgt Moloney said that Gardai concluded that Mr Farrell was incapable of having proper control of a car and he was arrested.
Sgt Moloney said that Mr Farrell attempted to punch Garda Justin Burke and made a lunge towards him.
Sgt Moloney said that Mr Farrell has no previous convictions.
Solicitor for Mr Farrell, Tara Godfrey said that Mr Farrell’s alcoholism resurrected itself on this day.
She said what happened on June 23rd 2020 “was a huge wake up call”.
Ms Godfrey said that around that time, Mr Farrell had separated from his wife and had moved back in with his parents and to look after his mother.
In response, Judge Larkin asked: “How was he going to do that with three bottles of Vodka?”
Ms Godfrey said that Mr Farrell has now put his life back together and asked Judge Larkin not to criminalise him.
He said: “What happened on this day has the potential to wreck his entire life and he knows he has to be held responsible for what he did.”