It Seems, Nobody, is Safe in Ireland, at present? To Threaten Family home, and Children, Scary?

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Fine Gael Senator feared for family’s safety after spate of phone threats, court hears

Fine Gael Senator Michael Carrigy (left) and David Larkin (right) who has pleaded guilty to harassing the senator.

Fine Gael Senator Michael Carrigy (left) and David Larkin (right) who has pleaded guilty to harassing the senator.

January 17 2023 05:56 PM

Fine Gael Senator Micheal Carrigy has told a court how he feared for his family’s safety when he received anonymous threats which said he would be “torn apart in his house” after his front door was rammed, and how no amount of security would save him.

A hearing in Longford District Court before Judge Bernadette Owens heard how David Larkin (42) of Ardnacassa Lawns, Longford, had pleaded guilty to harassing the Ballinalee-based politician on various dates between December 20, 2021 and February 14, 2022, contrary to Section 10 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

Outlining the evidence, Sergeant Paul Carney of Granard garda station said he had been approached by Mr Carrigy after he became concerned about messages he was receiving by text, voicemail, and social media.

Sgt Carney said the first text read “Happy Christmas Michael, hope you enjoy it to the full because next year you’ll be in a jail cell awaiting sentencing for crimes against humanity along with all the others. Your parents are the ones I feel sorry for, they are good people. There’ll be no mercy for you”.

Other messages called Mr Carrigy a “scumbag” and said his “time is soon up”.

He was also told there was a “storm coming his way” and he would be “going to the train station” – a term used in a popular TV drama in which characters are told they are going to the train station but never get there.

There were similar Facebook posts under a fake account, and in one voicemail Larkin had said: “We are the people. We will bring you to justice. It’s going to be slow. It’s going to be brutal” and “your children will be sterilised. There will be no legacy left from you. You’re a f***ing scumbag and you know it”.

Larkin was arrested after a garda investigation.

His solicitor, Frank Gearty, said his client is single, has no children, is not working, and lives with his mother. He said he has a personal opinion on the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccine.

He said Larkin pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, has not reoffended, made assurances he would not act the same way again, and has engaged with the probation services and promised to continue to do so.

In his victim impact statement, Mr Carrigy said both he and his wife are entitled to live their lives without having being threatened, and should not have the burden of having to worry about their children when they are in their own home, their school or at other activities.

“A direct threat was made against my children. This cannot be accepted in our society. A direct threat was made against my home. This cannot be accepted in our society,” he said.

“The wellbeing of my family is of the utmost importance and as a father, it is my responsibility to protect my family.

“There are so many faceless and nameless people on various social media platforms. Social media companies have allowed people to use their sites and need to take more responsibility for the large number of fake accounts on their sites,” he added.

Mr Carrigy said he was constantly checking that the house doors are locked and if there was any damage done to his car.

“There were a lot of sleepless nights during the period until this individual was arrested,” he said.

Judge Owens said a probation report had suggested that a resolution under the restorative justice system might be achieved, but this option was rejected by Mr Carrigy.

Larkin was remanded on bail to appear in court again for sentencing on May 9 where his engagement with the probation services will be assessed.

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