Letterkenny man on harassment and threats charges told to stay away from neighbours

September 8, 2023

A Letterkenny man has been told to have no contact with his neighbours after being sent forward for trial on a series of harassment and threats charges.

James McErlane, 65, appeared before Letterkenny District Court after being arrested by appointment by Gardai.

He is charged that on the 6th September, 2022 at Whitethorn Close, Letterkenny he knowingly made a false report to Gardai tending to show that an offence had been committed.

McErlane made no response when charged.

Garda Sergeant Jim Collins said the Director of Public Prosecutions had decided that all matters faced by McErlane apart from a dangerous driving charge, should be prosecuted by indictment at the circuit court.

He asked for all matters to be tied in together and put in for mention to link up on September 25th next.

The court was told there was no issue with bail but Sergeant Collins requested a number of conditions.

They include that McErlane sign on once a week at Letterkenny Garda station and that he have no contact with his neighbours Kevin Shiels and Martin and Noreen McColgan and their family.

McErlane’s solicitor, Mr Rory O’Brien said that would be “ridiculous” as they were neighbours and the accused had to walk past the other houses.

Judge Eiteain Cunningham said that McErlane should then stay away from the curtilage of the homes.

Mr O’Brien also asked the court to ensure that Mr Shiels also stays away from his client and Gardai confirmed they had spoken to Mr Shiels with regard to this.

McErlane faces a total of nine charges including making threats to cause serious harm or to kill a man and his wife at Whitethorn Close on October 21st, 2018.

He is also charged with making threats to damage the couple’s car on the same date.

McErlane is also charged with harassing the man and his wife between dates on March 25th, 2011 and April 6th, 2022 at Whitethorn Close.

He is also charged with harassing a man at Bernard McGlinchey Park on March 26th, 2022.

Judge Cunningham adjourned the case until September 25th for the service of a book of evidence in the case.