“Fine, decent, honest and sincere” is how a prison chaplain described the three Laois men jailed for injuring four gardaí when they rammed garda vehicles in a stolen jeep containing stolen items.
In the sentencing of Thomas McInerney (40), Twomey Park, Mountmellick; William McInerney (37), Newline Close, Mountrath; and Gerard McInerney (38), Moanbaun Close, Mountrath, Judge Keenan Johnson said he had been furnished with a letter from Father John O'Sullivan, chaplain at Cloverhill Prison, where the accused have been in custody since their arrest last July.
Fr O'Sullivan said the accused are deeply and genuinely remorseful for what they did and have expressed this to him many times.
He described the accused as fine, decent, honest and sincere men. Their behaviour in custody has been exemplary. They are respected by the entire prison population and engage with everyone in a pleasant, courteous and respectful manner.
The chaplain said they were dedicated and faithful family men and being separated from their families is a source of great distress for them and their families.
He said the men are needed at home and that this is their first time in custody and that it has not been easy on their families.
He noted that each of the men have stable family environments to return to and meaningful offers of post-sentence employment.
He went to say that without hesitation he can say that these men will not reoffend and that they deserve an early opportunity to rebuild their lives.
However, probation reports on the accused assessed both William and Thomas McInerney at a high risk of reoffending, while Gerard McInerney was assessed at a moderate risk.
Said Judge Johnson: “In the light of the probation reports and their respective risk assessments, I cannot say that I could share Father O’Sullivan’s optimism that none of the accused are likely to reoffend.”