Case against former Tyrone footballer dismissed in Listowel

Gavel 1A case in which a former Tyrone footballer allegedly failed to give a blood or urine sample at Listowel Garda Station, has been dismissed. Three-time All-Ireland winner Owen Mulligan with an address at Church Street, Crookstown, Co. Tyrone appeared at today’s sitting of Listowel District Court.   The charge dates to August 29th, 2014 when Owen Mulligan was arrested at William Street in Listowel on suspicion of being drunk while in charge of a vehicle. It is alleged that when he was taken to Listowel garda station, he refused to give a breath sample. A previous court sitting heard the accused denied this was the case saying he was unable to give a breath sample because he had recently broken his ribs playing football. It was also stated that he refused to allow a local GP to take a blood or urine sample because he didn’t believe he was a doctor. At today’s sitting of Listowel District Court, the court heard, on the night in question, Gardaí deemed Mr Mulligan’s behaviour to be “obstreperous” and “aggressive”. Judge James O’Connor said Mr Mulligan seemed to be “a very awkward customer” on the night. Solicitor John O’Dwyer called for the case against his client to be dismissed as Gardaí had not warned Mr Mulligan of how his defence could be affected arising from not giving blood and urine. In considering the evidence before the court, Judge James O’Connor referred to the case of DPP v Cagney in which a woman failed to provide a breath sample due a cough and chest infection. In delivering his verdict, the Judge said Gardaí had an obligation to warn Mr Mulligan that, if blood or urine was not given, this could preclude him from arguing a “special and substantial” defence in relation to his alleged incapacity to give a breath sample on account of injury to his ribs. Consequently, Judge James O’Connor dismissed the charges against Mr Mulligan.