*A probation report led to the adjournment of the case.
A TEACHER has appeared in court charged with sending grossly offensive communication in two letters alleging that a male teaching colleague was viewing sexually inappropriate content on his phone while in the classroom.
At Ennis District Court, Tomas Madigan (42) of Crossbeg, Cooraclare, Co Clare appeared concerning two charges of sending letters to Ardscoil Mhuire secondary school Corbally, Limerick and Henry Street Garda Station in Limerick last year.
Solicitor, Daragh Hassett told the court that Mr Madigan will not be contesting the two charges and said that his client was unwell at the time of sending the two letters but didn’t know it.
Giving an outline of the State case against Mr Madigan, Det Garda Joe Cusack told Judge Alec Gabbett that “it will be alleged that Mr Madigan authored two hand written letters purporting to be from a student at Ardscoil Mhuire at a time when he was a teacher there”.
He said, “The first letter was sent in March 2022 to Henry Street Garda Station and the second sent to the school in May 2022”.
Det Cusack added, “Both letters were broadly similar in content in that they made reference to another teacher in the school viewing inappropriate content on his phone while teaching a class at the school”.
Det Cusack said, “It was inappropriate sexual content”.
After hearing at outline of the case against Mr Madigan, Judge Gabbett said that he would accept district court jurisdiction.
Sgt Louis Moloney told Judge Gabbett that the DPP has directed that the case be heard in the district court.
Giving evidence of arrest, charge and caution before court, Det Cusack said that Mr Madigan replied “I’m very sorry,” after caution.
Det Cusack said that he had met Mr Madigan by appointment before the court.
Mr Madigan is charged with sending on May 25th 2022 at Ardscoil Mhuire secondary School, Corbally a grossly offensive communication to another person with intent to cause harm.
Mr Madigan is also charged with on March 30th 2022 at Henry Street Garda Station of sending a grossly offensive communication to another person with the intent to cause harm.
Both charges are contrary to Section 4 of the Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Act 2020.
Mr Hassett told Judge Gabbet, “There won’t be a contest in these cases – no contest whatsoever.”
Mr Hassett explained, “This arose out of a most difficult time in Mr Madigan’s life. In addition, there here was a situation with a work colleague and because of then undiagnosed medical issues, Mr Madigan wasn’t able to rely on the usual logical sound and sensible logic he has applied to all parts of his life in his previous 40 odd years”.
Mr Hassett said, “He was unwell at the time and didn’t know it. We are in the process of commissioning one if not two medical reports from the field of psychiatry”.
Mr Hassett said that Mr Madigan “had a breakdown at the time when a situation arose with a colleague and instead of dealing with it through the appropriate channels he acted out of turn- he wasn’t thinking straight”.
Mr Hassett said that he would be seeking a Probation Report for his client.
Mr Hassett said that “there were two events in isolation and there has been nothing since”.
Mr Hassett said that “there is probably an issue of victim impact and the Det Cusack can canvas that with the complainant”.
Judge Gabbett adjourned the case to December 20th for the Probation Report.