Falcarragh man threatened to slit father’s throat

April 4, 2024

A probation report has been ordered for a Falcarragh man charged with threatening to slit his father’s throat.

Hugh McCready appeared at Letterkenny District Court over the incident in February of this year.

McCready, aged 42, has been in custody at Castlerea Prison since the day after the incident and was brought to court by prison officers on Thursday.

Sergeant John Gallagher of Falcarragh Garda Station outlined the case to Judge Ciaran Liddy.

Sergeant Gallagher told the court that on February 2, 2024, Gardai were alerted to an incident at the home of the accused’s father, Mr John Gallagher, at Ray, Falcarragh.

The defendant was said to have made a call and allegedly threatened to slit his father’s throat and break windows at the house. McCready was subsequently arrested and initially appeared before a special court sitting in February.

He was charged with making a threat to kill or cause serious harm to his father, contrary to Section 5 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1977.

McCready was also charged with offences on two other dates.

The court heard that on December 12, 2023, at Ray, Falcarragh, McCready uninvitedly entered the home of a couple, Joe and Susan McClean, allegedly punching Mr McClean twice on the nose, causing what were described as ‘superficial’ injuries.

McCready was alleged to have threatened to burn the McClean home and damaged two vehicles owned by the couple.

McCready was also charged in connection to an incident at Brinlack on December 22, 2023. He turned up at the home of Ms Susan Gallagher and said he was looking for her son.

McCready was armed with a hammer and smashed windows of a car. When Ms Gallagher tried to intervene she was hit on the shoulder with the hammer. McCready also made further threats of damage to Ms Gallagher’s property.

Mr Frank Dorrian, solicitor for McCready, described a victim impact statement from John McCready, his client’s father, as ‘very compassionate and understanding’.

Mr Dorrian said that his client left school at the age of 15 and went to England to work on building sites.

While he worked dutifully and hard, Mr Dorrian said McCready ‘engaged in a lifestyle that was not conducive to his own well-being and he developed alcohol dependency’.

“He acknowledges that the fault lies with his state of mind,” Mr Dorrian said. “He had an argument with his father about money and his response wasn’t adequate. He felt a grievance with the first set of injured parties, who did not warrant the response that Mr McCready visited upon them.”

Mr Dorrian said McCready intends to return to Northern Ireland, where he has the prospect of employment, and thereafter plans to go to London.

Mr Dorrian said: “He is a quite unusual man in that he has blunt and straightforward views of how the world works, which is not how the world works.”

Judge Liddy said that the case was at the upper end of what the District Court would ordinarily deal with, but he accepted jurisdiction.

“This man needs supervision for some time to come,” Judge Liddy said.

Judge Liddy directed that a probation report be prepared on McCready and the case was adjourned to April 19, 2024.