Medical care demanded for man who torched Garda patrol car

January 26, 2023

A Judge has reiterated her order for a man accused of the arson of a Garda patrol car to get immediate psychiatric and psychological assessment in prison.

Gary McGinley admitted causing more than €10,000 of damage to a Hyundai i20 official marked patrol car in Castlefin, Co Donegal in the early hours of Saturday morning last.

The 35-year-old of Emmett Park in Castlefin was arrested following an armed Garda operation on Saturday evening last.

He appeared at Letterkenny District Court on Monday last where details of the incident were revealed.

The court heard how McGinley admitted pouring petrol on the vehicle just after 4am on January

Garda Sergeant Jim Collins objected to bail and outlined the seriousness of the offence.

He told the court that the damaged patrol car was parked approximately eight feet from the front of the Garda station.

It was also revealed during the case that an off-duty Garda happened to be passing by the station and managed to use a fire extinguisher to stop the blaze from spreading.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham refused bail but ordered that McGinley receive urgent psychological and psychiatric assessment in prison.

The case was adjourned to today (Thursday) when McGinley’s solicitor, Mr Patsy Gallagher launched a stinging attack on the Director of Public Prosecution’s office.

He said “Formal directions were given in court the last day and I’m not sure if the English language is difficult for the DPP to comprehend. I thought this was clearly outlined.

“We know the damage here and my client made full and frank admissions. We all know where this is going.

“We are dealing with a very vulnerable man here and he obviously has health issues.”

The accused, who appeared by videolink, confirmed he had been seen by a prison doctor but not a psychiatrist or psychologist.

Garda Sergeant Jim Collins said a ‘skeleton file’ had been sent to the DPP but but Gardai would endeavour to expedite the matter.

Judge Cunningham said she was reiterating her order for McGinley to get both psychiatric and psychological treatment as well as any medication required.

The case was adjourned until next Wednesday, February 1st.