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Galway First: Reprieve for outspoken daughter of Shell to Sea activist

Monday, 02 April 2007 
BY ANN HEALY

The daughter of Shell to Sea activist Maura Harrington told a garda sergeant he would be out of a job when she was finished with him, after she went in an intoxicated state to Galway Garda Station and demanded to see her mother, who was under arrest there at the time.

Sheila Mangan (21), with a rental address at 13 Eglinton Court, Eglinton Street, Galway, pleaded guilty at Galway District Court last week to being drunk and a danger to herself and others and to refusing to leave Galway Garda Station when directed to do so by Sergeant Senan Wall in the early hours of April 22 last year.

Inspector Gerry Roche said the accused arrived at the public office in the garda station around 12 midnight and demanded to see “the anonymous female prisoner”.  Sgt. Wall had to ask her several times what was her business there before Mangan eventually told him she wanted to see her mother who was in custody.  She refused to give him her name and refused to leave when directed to do so.

Mangan, a second year Arts student studying English and Economics at NUIG, started to repeatedly open and slam the door in the public office in an attempt to break it, inspector Roche said.  She invited Sergeant Wall to go ahead and arrest her, adding, “Ye all think ye are f***in’ great.  Ye all won’t have a job when I’m finished with ye.”

Defence solicitor Tomas McHale said his client was very drunk on the night and was upset because her mother, Maura Harrington, had been arrested that night and was being held at the Garda Station.

The solicitor said Mangan was worried that a conviction might jeopardise her hopes of pursuing a career in education.  He said she was very focused on her studies and she now wished to apologise to Sergeant Wall for her behaviour and comments on the night.

Judge Mary Fahy said the accused wasn’t very focused on her education that night and she questioned Mangan’s attitude towards Gardai.  The judge said that while some students who drink too much get into trouble with Gardai they don’t make comments about their jobs.  “I didn’t like the comment she made, ‘when I’m finished with ye, ye won’t have a job’.  That is going a step too far,” Judge Fahy said.

Mr McHale said Mangan’s father was present in court with her.  He said that in her spare time his client helps out at an animal welfare shelter in Mayo.

Mangan assured Judge Fahy that she was sorry for her behaviour on the night.
Judge Fahy then adjourned the charges to December 12 next to await the findings of a Garda Behaviour Report.  She indicated she would deal with the matter in a certain way then if the accused behaved herself in the meantime. 

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