‘You told a brazen lie’: Judge’s fury at all-Ireland winner hurler handed jail sentence • Yesterday 07:13
Three-time All-Ireland-winning Limerick hurler Pat Ryan is appealing a jail sentence imposed on him yesterday after he admitted committing perjury.
Limerick District Court judge Patricia Harney said Ryan, 27, of Doon, Co. Limerick, had told a ‘brazen lie’ when, on October 21, 2020, he told the court he had not received a fixed charge penalty notice after a garda had allegedly detected him speeding in 2018.
Judge Harney heard that some time afterward, gardaí discovered Ryan had sent an image of the speeding notice from his mobile phone to a ‘third party’.
After hearing gardaí outline the facts of the case, Judge Harney told Ryan: ‘This is serious stuff.
You’re not getting away with it.’ Garda Darren John Swan, of the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, told yesterday’s hearing that he arrested Ryan at 9.26am at Mayorstone Garda Station in Limerick. He said the All-Ireland-winning hurler did not reply when he charged him at 9.44am.
Outlining the facts, Garda Swan told the court that Ryan had appeared there on October 21, 2020, accused of speeding. He told the court that the hurler had given ‘sworn evidence’, during the 2020 hearing, that he had not received notification of the alleged speeding offence.
The officer added that it was later ‘discovered’ that Ryan had ‘forwarded’ an image of the speeding notice from his mobile phone to a ‘third party’ who was not identified in court.
Pat Ryan of Limerick celebrates after scoring his side’s third goal during the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final match between Cork and Limerick at Croke Park in Dublin. Pic: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile© Provided by Evoke.ie
‘This contradicted Ryan’s sworn evidence,’ said Garda Swan. The GNBCI officer added that Ryan was arrested on March 10, 2021, on suspicion of committing perjury during the 2020 court hearing. Garda Swan told Judge Harney that the Director of Public Prosecutions ‘recommended it be dealt with by summary disposal’ before the District Court.
He also said Ryan had one previous conviction, on June 27, 2022, for ‘holding a mobile phone whilst driving’. Judge Harney told Ryan’s solicitor Con Barry: ‘This is pretty serious stuff, he (Ryan) is not getting away with it.’
Mr Barry said that Ryan had ‘put his hands up’ and had ‘fully cooperated’ with the
. Judge Harney replied: ‘It’s the least he (Ryan) could do.’
Pat Ryan of Limerick celebrates aftee scoring his side’s third goal during the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final match between Cork and Limerick at Croke Park in Dublin. Pic: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile© Provided by Evoke.ie
The judge then told the defendant: ‘You’re not getting away with it.’ Turning again to Mr Barry, she continued: ‘He (Ryan) got caught; he expected not to get caught, and now he is in serious trouble, he is facing a jail sentence.’
Mr Barry appealed again for leniency, to which the judge retorted: ‘Talk to me about truth, about veracity… this goes to the core of the entire administration of justice.
‘He (Ryan) told a brazen lie in the face of this court. ‘The whole criminal justice system is based on truth given to the courts – your client is facing very, very serious trouble.’
Diarmuid Byrnes and Pat Ryan celebrate after the game. Pic: INPHO/Bryan Keane© Provided by Evoke.ie
Imposing a two-week jail sentence on Ryan, the judge told the hearing that the ‘brazen nature’ of his evidence in 2020 ‘cuts to the heart of the criminal justice system’. Gardaí told Judge Harney that the maximum sentence she could impose was six months in prison and/or a fine of up to €5,000.
Appealing to the judge not to jail Ryan, Mr Barry said: ‘This will affect him (Ryan) throughout his life, his ability to travel (abroad), it will have a tremendous effect on him for years.’