An Irish woman threatened to bomb Irish President Michael D. Higgins if he continued with his trip to the UK in April 2014.
Referring to Higgins as a “ladyboy” and stating that “the President and Sabrina [sic] Higgins would go home in plastic bags if they set foot on English soil,” Anne Fennell, 57, made several phone calls to the President’s residence in Áras an Uachtaráin before he embarked on what would be the first state visit of a President of Ireland to the United Kingdom.
She continued to call in threats to bomb him throughout his 2014 trip and again in October of the same year, an Irish court heard.
Fennell redirected her attention to Irish government buildings, Dáil Éireann,on November 18, 2014, when she called to say there was a bomb at the main gate.
The call resulted in a search of the entire area surrounding the Dáil.
A former worker with Ireland’s postal service, An Post, Fennell pleaded guilty in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court of sending threatening, obscene and annoying messages to a number of government buildings including Áras an Uachtaráin, the Department of Finance, the European Commission Representation, An Post Dublin Mail Centre, and the constituency offices of TDs Alan Kelly, Aodhán Ó Riordáin, and Noel Coonan, telling officers on her arrest that she was “lonely.”
She was previously charged with five counts of harassing a priest in 2006.
Gardaí traced the calls made from her cell phone between March 2013 and November 2014 and on her discovery, Fennell, from Clondalkin in County Dublin, apologized to arresting Gardaí and told them her threats were “just words.”
In court, she faced 22 charges under the Post Office Act of making grossly offensive phone calls or sending persistent and false messages for the purpose of causing annoyance over a 20-month period.
She is believed to have made nine obscene calls to Áras an Uachtaráin, three of which were to the President’s official residence on April 8, 2014, at the beginning of his UK trip.
Superintendent Michael Cryan told the court that throughout 2014, Fennell called the Dáil on a weekly basis to complain about various issues, including the Irish President’s monumental state visit to the UK.
She also called the EU Commission and threatened to bomb the building if they did not “lay off” Cyprus. The judge heard that her phone calls were often made in reaction to news stories.
On three occasions in November 2014, Fennell rang the office of TD Alan Kelly in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, threatening him and his family, on one occasion stating that she would “put a bullet in [Mr Kelly’s] head”.
Fennell’s defense, Mr White, submitted to Judge Melanie Greally that she deeply regretted her behavior, although she could not offer an excuse for her actions. White asked that she be given a chance at rehabilitation, noting that it was in the public interest to do so.
Judge Greally also noted from a photograph that the accused lived in “subhuman” conditions.
Fennell was remanded on continuing bail until July 2016 in order to allow her continued psychological therapy.
The judge ordered that attention be paid to the link between the loneliness experienced by Fennell and her actions, stating that a structure should be put in place to allow her to have a “pro-social” existence.
In April 2014, Michael D. Higgins made a four-day state visit to the UK, three years after the first state visit by a British monarch to Ireland following its independence.
Higgins and his wife Sabina met with Queen Elizabeth II and British Prime Minister David Cameron during their stay.
H/T: Irish Examiner