Co Cork man given suspended sentence for attacking census official – The Irish Times | Pro IQRA News

Co Cork man given suspended sentence for attacking census official – The Irish Times

 | Pro IQRA News

Pro IQRA News Updates.

A man in Co Cork who was convicted of assaulting a census official has received a suspended six-month prison sentence, with a warning from the judge about his future behaviour.

Michael Allen, 66, of Jarreloucas, Garrettstown, pleaded guilty to assault Kieran Burns when census supervisor visited his home with colleague Laura Coholan on March 15 last year.

Bandon District Court heard that when Ms. Coholan visited Allen’s property on March 6th to deliver census forms, he told her, “I don’t give a f**k of you. Get off my property.”

Ms. Coholan said she was “surprised” by this, and told Judge James McNulty she had never come across anything like this. She explained to the court that, as a census taker in the Kinsale area, she was responsible for around 350 households.

The court heard that Ms. Coholan had returned to the property with Mr. Burns on March 15.

Both census takers said Allen first opened a window and forcefully told them to leave. Mr. Burns said Allen then opened the door and rushed out and shoved it.

“We froze in place,” said Mr. Burns. “I just wanted to try to explain to the gentleman that this is [the census] It wasn’t a big problem.”

Garda Richard O’Sullivan told the court that he received a call from the census takers and went to the property, where Allen said he would not be making a statement.

Garda O’Sullivan said Allen recorded this interaction on his phone.

The court then heard and completed Allen’s census form for his home.

Mr. Burns rejected an assertion from defense attorney Killian O’Mullan that would have been made public once it became clear, on March 6th, that his client did not want to become involved.

Allen rejected the evidence presented by each of the census takers, saying that he had not attacked anyone and that Mr. Burns had assaulted him in what Mr. O’Mullan described as a “bargy”.

Allen said he and his family were very security conscious as a result of the attempted burglary and anxiety on the part of his wife, something his daughter also witnessed in evidence.

The judge said Allen’s evidence was unsatisfactory and he was given a suspended six-month prison sentence on the condition that he keep the peace. He said this would extend to social media and that there should be no posts related to Ms. Koholan or Mr. Burns.

The judge said that assaulting a public servant is a serious crime and an aggravating factor, adding that assaulting a public servant is “bad, to put it mildly” and “unworthy of him”.