AN East Cork man who served time in the past for throwing a rock at a guard causing irreparable damage to his vision, taunted gardaí in a more recent incident – “I got four years before, I’ll do ten years for ye.”
He was jailed for three years today at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Luke Quilligan was sentenced for producing an iron bar and later producing a curved stick and making threats to gardaí, as well as multiple related offences and dangerous driving.
Detective Sergeant Seán Leahy said the incident that gave rise to the charges occurred on October 31, 2018, when their attention was drawn to a Ford Focus being driven around Beechwood Drive in Midleton.
The gardaí were going to seize the car which was parked outside a house without any insurance or tax discs.
Luke Quilligan came out of the house carrying an iron bar declaring that nobody was going to seize his car.
He then used the bar to smash windows of his own car.
Gardaí retreated to wait for back-up.
They returned later in greater numbers but Quilligan came out with a curved stick, saying, “If ye don’t leave I will f***ing do ye. I got four years before. I will do ten years for ye. Come near me and I will do ye. I will do ten years for ye.”
The detective said the accused had been sentenced for five years previously for throwing a rock at a member of An Garda Síochána, causing the loss of 75% of the vision in one eye.
During this more recent incident, he struck Garda Donagh McCarthy with the buckle of a belt on the forehead causing a minor injury.
Blaise O’Carroll, defence senior counsel, said the accused man apologised to Garda McCarthy and had deep remorse.
Detective Sgt Leahy said Garda McCarthy did not accept the apology as genuine.
Quilligan, aged 25, from Ballymartle and now living in Little Island, drove at speeds up to 160 miles per hour on the dual carriageway to Cork and gardaí felt it was safer not to attempt a pursuit.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said there was nothing to excuse the level of violence shown by the accused on the night and said that between the violence and the multiple incidents of dangerous driving it was lucky something worse did not happen.
Judge Ó Donnabháin imposed a four-year sentence with the last year suspended and he disqualified Luke Quilligan from driving for 15 years.