Court Hears Athlone Man Drank Four Bottles Of Wine Before Attempting To Suffocate Partner's Mother

Peter Keaney is also charged with section 3 assault.

A man charged with the section 3 assault and attempted suffocation of his partner's elderly mother at an Athlone nursing home in April has been granted bail.

Peter Keaney (55), of 7 Hillside Close, Monksland, Athlone, Co Roscommon, appeared on Wednesday evening before Judge Bernadette Owens at Athlone District Court where he was admitted to bail and sent forward on a signed guilty plea to a sitting of Mullingar Circuit Court today.

In a contested bail hearing on Wednesday evening, the court heard the father of two had consumed four bottles of wine before walking to the Sonas Nursing Home on April 29th, where he is charged with assaulting the elderly woman and attempting to suffocate her with a pillow.

Detective Garda Kenneth Nerney told the court that, in interview, Mr Keaney told Gardaí, "yes, I would kill her. I would do it again. I will kill her".

Garda objections to bail fell under both section 2 and O'Callaghan rules, due to the seriousness of the charges and the possibility that witnesses could be interfered with, as well as the threats made by Mr Keaney following his arrest.

Defence solicitor, Mark Cooney, told the court that his client had consumed four bottles of wine on the evening of the assault and the subsequent threats, but that he had never come to adverse Garda attention before and gave a "fulsome and frank" account of what happened when interviewed the following day.

Mr Keaney himself, when addressing the court, said his actions that night were "a complete anomaly" even to him.

Judge Owens, having heard the application and the objections, proceeded to grant bail on the basis that the accused was going forward to the Circuit Court on signed guilty pleas on both charges.

Mr Keaney was subsequently granted bail on his own bond of €500 and independent surety of €1,000, on the conditions that he reside at his sister’s address in Balbriggan in Dublin, sign on daily at Balbriggan garda station and seek a GP referral or engage with addiction services.

Mr Keaney will appear before a sitting of Mullingar Circuit Criminal Court today.

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