Mr Merlehan appeared at Naas District Court today
A man was arrested earlier today (Wednesday, Marchy 13) on a charge of assaulting an environmental officer from Kildare County Council.
Patrick Merlehan, 69, of the Hamlet of Newtown, Moone, is charged with a Section 3 assault, causing harm, to Dan Costigan in an alleged altercation between the two at Mr Merlehan’s home on January 9 last.
The arresting garda told Judge Desmond Zaidan at Naas District Court today that when charged Mr Merlehan replied “I made my statement. I’ve nothing to add to my statement”.
It is alleged that Mr Costigan was on Mr Merlehan’s property on the day in question and that when he approached him to speak to him the latter struck out at him and kicked him. Judge Zaidan said that the matter was a serious one and refused to accept jurisdiction. By doing so he was sending the case to the higher, Circuit Court.
He referred during the brief hearing to the accused as Reverend Merlehan. “Do you go by ‘reverend’ or ‘mr’?” he asked. “I happen to be a reverend but I don’t hang my hat on it,” Merlehan replied.
Gardai indicated at an initial court appearance today that they did not object to bail for Mr Merlehan but asked for the condition that he refrain from any contact directly or indirectly with Mr Costigan.
Mr Merlehan for his part said he wanted a condition that Mr Costigan stay away from him. Gardai agreed to speak to the alleged injured party about it.
“These matters should not deter Mr Costigan in his work as an environmental officer for Kildare County Council,” Judge Zaidan said.
Mr Merlehan also asked that Mr Costigan cease “breaking through the fences, creating holes for thieves.”
“If you have concerns, you should speak to the gardai,” the Judge advised him.
The matter was adjourned.