Anti-Vaccine Activist Pleads Guilty To Assaulting Clare-Based Garda

Image (c) Pat Flynn

Anti-vaccine activist, Antonio Mureddu has pleaded guilty to assaulting a Clare based Garda and dangerous driving.

At Ennis Circuit Court today, Mr Mureddu pleaded guilty to the assault of Garda James Hanley with intent to resist or prevent the lawful apprehension or detention of himself for dangerous driving at Knockanean outside Ennis on August 10th 2021.

Garda Hanley was present in court for Mr Mureddu’s arraignment today where the case was listed for trial.

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Mr Mureddu also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving on the M18 motorway at Caheraphuca, Crusheen on August 10th 2021.

Mr Mureddu has been on remand in custody since March 12th and at each district court appearance, Mr Mureddu denied in court that he was Mr Mureddu.

On several occasions, Mr Mureddu (47) told Judge Alec Gabbett “I am not Mr Mureddu judge.”

On another occasion, Mr Mureddu told Judge Gabbett: “I am a LGBT member. I am transgender also.”

However, when asked by the circuit court registrar today was he Antonio Mureddu, he replied “I am.”

Counsel for Mr Mureddu, Patrick Barriscale BL (instructed by solicitor, Colum Doherty) said that his client would be applying for bail ahead of sentence as he has personal and business matters to attend to in Galway.

Counsel for the State, Lorcan Connolly BL (instructed by Clare State Solicitor, Aisling Casey) said that the State would be objecting to bail as Mr Mureddu was arrested on foot of a bench warrant in March after he had absconded for two years.

After Mr Connolly said that the State would be able to proceed with sentencing on Thursday and a victim impact statement would be provided in advance of the sentencing hearing, Mr Barriscale stated that Mr Mureddu would not be proceeding with his bail application.

At a pre-trial hearing last week, Mr Mureddu – then representing himself – confirmed that he was considering pleading guilty and Judge Comerford said that he would grant legal aid after strongly advising Mr Mureddu that he should be legally represented.

Prior to his March arrest, Mr Mureddu formerly of Headford Arms Hotel, Headford, Co Galway had been ‘at large’ since June 2022 when a bench warrant was issued from Ennis District Court for his arrest after he failed to show up in court concerning the alleged assault on Garda James Hanly three years ago.

Mr Mureddu did not show up in court in June 2022 after a medical report was provided to court on behalf of Mr Mureddu which said that Mr Mureddu has “Covid symptoms – flu like”.

Mr Mureddu was arrested by Gardai in Co Donegal in March and Mr Mureddu claimed in court that he was “kidnapped” by Garda.

The sentencing hearing will take place at Ennis Circuit Court on Thursday.