Man drove car at woman after romantic meeting at An Grianan fort turned sour

April 2, 2024

A man has appeared in court after allegedly driving his car at and hitting a woman after a romantic meeting at An Grianan of Aileach fort turned sour.

The man, who is aged in his 30s, appeared before Judge Ciaran Liddy at a specially convened sitting of Letterkenny District Court in County Donegal.

He is charged with a range of offences which allegedly took place on Sunday evening last, March 31st, at Carrowreagh, Burnfoot.

The five charges include Section 3 assault causing harm to the woman, dangerous driving, refusing to give a sample, engaging in threatening and abusive or insulting behaviour with intent to provoke a breach of the peace and also breaching a Protection Order.

The accused, with an address on the Inishowen Peninsula, cannot be named to protect the identity of the alleged victim.

Garda Sergeant Jim Collins said An Garda Siochana were objecting to bail in the case.

Detective Garda Jason Conroy gave details of the arrest, charge and caution of the accused man.

During his bail objection, Detective Conroy told how an independent witness who was camping in the area at the time observed the incident between the couple.

The man contacted Gardai by calling 999 after seeing the incident unfolding.

The man told Gardai how the accused had “angled his car” towards the woman before colliding with her.

The witness then told Gardai how the accused then allegedly reversed back to the woman and assaulted her by pulling her by the hair and made movements towards her which appeared to be a kicking motion.

He is also accused of striking the woman on the face a number of times.

Other reasons for an objection to bail were given by Detective Conroy including the seriousness of the charges.

Solicitor for the accused, Mr Frank Dorrian, said the pair had been involved in a “tumultuous relationship” that seemed to flare up into alleged violence

He said they had been cohabitating during which time both sides have made various claims to gardai.

On the day in question the pair had been drinking and drove to An Grianan of Aileach and were in the car park for what Mr Dorrian called “romantic reasons.”

The woman was called to outline her feelings on the man getting bail.

Sergeant Collins asked the woman how she would feel if the accused was granted bail.

She initially replied “I would not feel safe. I’m not going to feel safe at the moment. I don’t want to see him any more or I don’t want him to come to my house any more. I don’t want to be around him”

Sergeant Collins asked the woman how she would feel if the accused was granted bail but ordered to stay away from her and she replied that would be okay.

On balance, Judge Liddy said that having listened to the woman he was granting bail under certain conditions.

These conditions include that the accused will not interfere with any witnesses in the case, have no contact either directly or indirectly with any witnesses, provide a phone to Gardai to be contactable on, stay out of an area where the alleged victim resides and works and also to sign on once a week at Buncrana Garda Station.