A notorious Garda killer has appeared in court charged with a series of offences during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Martin McDermott appeared before Falcarragh District Court today charged with a number of offences including assaulting a Garda.

The court was told the 34-year-old was arrested just after 10pm last night in Manorcunningham.

He was charged with two charges of dangerous driving, drink-driving, having no driving license, assault and resisting arrest at Magheramore, Manorcunningham.

Garda Michael Kilcoyne gave details of the arrest and the charges and said that McDermott made no reply when charged at Letterkenny Garda station.

McDermott has already served a sentence for the manslaughter of a young Garda in Co Donegal in 2009.

He was driving a car which struck Garda Gary McLoughlin.

The 24-year-old Garda, who was based at Buncrana Garda station but from Leitrim, was manning a checkpoint at Burt.

McDermott had been trying to evade Gardai during a high-speed pursuit and was trying to drive towards the border at Bridgend to escape into Derry.

The accused had led Gardai on a 30km chase and had reached speeds of up to 150kph.

Garda McLoughlin and his colleague Garda Bernard McLaughlin had been instructed not to deploy a stinger, to blow out McDermott’s tyres, because he was driving too fast and its use was deemed too dangerous.

Instead, they were tasked instead with getting the registration number of the car.

Just seconds later McDermott drove on the wrong side of the road, ramming the marked garda car and ripping the engine out of it.

Garda McLoughlin took the full force of the ramming and died the following day, December 14th as a result of his injuries.

At today’s court appearance, arresting Garda Michael Kilcoyne said he was objecting to bail as he feared the accused might flee the jurisdiction.

However, McDermott’s solicitor Patsy Gallagher said his client was a father-of-two who lived with his partner at Abbey Park in Manorcunningham.

Having considered the application, Judge Paul Kelly granted bail on McDermott’s own bond of €600 on a number of conditions.

These include that McDermott sign on daily at Letterkenny Garda station, provide a mobile phone number, that he keep a curfew of 9am and 9pm and that he not drive a car.

The case was referred to the Director for Public Prosecutions and was adjourned until Monday next for direction.


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