Cop killer to stand trial for endangering Garda’s life

March 16, 2021

A CONVICTED Garda killer will stand trial next month charged with endangering the life of an on-duty Garda.

Martin McDermott, with an address at Abbey Park in Manorcunningham, is charged in relation to an offence on April 14, 2020 at Raymoghey.

It is alleged that McDermott intentionally or recklessly angered in conduct, driving at speed in the direction of Garda Michael Kilcoyne, which created a substantial risk of death or serious harm.

The charge is contrary to the Non-Fatal Offence Against the Person Act, 1997.

McDermott – who has over 90 previous convictions – was present, but did not speak during a brief hearing before Judge Paul Kelly at Letterkenny District Court, where a book of evidence was served by Sergeant Joe Kealy.

Sergeant Gerard Dalton told the Court that the Director of Public Prosecutions has consented for McDermott to be brought before the next sitting of Letterkenny Circuit Court, which commences in April.

A section 56 order, relating to videotapes of interviews, was granted and McDermott was remanded on continuing bail.

Judge Paul Kelly assigned legal aid to solicitor Patsy Gallagher and granted two legal counsels.

Letterkenny courthouse. Pic: Northwest Newspix

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, a native of Leitrim who was stationed in Buncrana and was manning a checkpoint at Burt on the night in question.

McDermott had been trying to evade Gardai during a high-speed pursuit that lasted 30km and 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.

McDermott is charged with a number of other offences, which were adjourned to the May 17 sitting of Letterkenny District Court.