A man who caused €50,000 worth of damage when he rammed his jeep into a pub and a dole office has blamed skin tablets for the incident.

Th scene of the crash at the dole office in Buncrana on December 27th, 2013.

Th scene of the crash at the dole office in Buncrana on December 27th, 2013.

Joseph McGonagle, of Muff, has claimed that he was suffering from “involuntary intoxication” during the incidents.

The 41 year old told his barrister that he was suffering from depression for a year and a half before the incident on December 27th, 2013.

He had been taking bipolar medication as well as anti-depressants for the conditions when he crashed into a pub at Sappagh, Muff as well as another vehicle and then the social welfare offices in Buncrana.

However, two weeks before the incidents a doctor prescribed him a steroid medication for a skin condition.

Barrister Ms Charlotte Simpson outlined Mr McGonagle’s situation and said there was a “very strong possibility” of the defence of involuntary intoxication.

She said McGonagle, of Aught Road, Muff, “felt like his head was going to explode.”

She made an application for legal aid to provide for Senior Counsel, saying it was an unusual defence and for medical evidence to be provided in the case.

Ms Simpson said that this had an impact on McGonagle and it was reflected in his interview with Gardai.

She said he simply could not explain his actions on the night.

“He has no grievance with social welfare, or with the pub that he drove into,” she added.

Judge John O’Hagan granted the application.

The case was adjourned until next term in April to allow time to allocate Senior Counsel to the case and provision of medical reports.




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