A single mother who “goaded” a man via social media to carry out an attack on a family home has walked free from court.
This follows Judge Francis Comerford at Ennis Circuit Court imposing a 15-month suspended prison term on Suellen Keenan (33) of Ardarra, Portroe, Co Tipperary of aiding and abetting the crime of endangerment of the O’Loughlin home at 25 Pearse Avenue, Cloughleigh, Ennis just after midnight on November 22nd 2021.
Last week, Judge Comerford jailed the primary participant in the crime, Martin Mongans (35) of College Grove, Ennis for four years and 10 months for the firebomb and shotgun attack “on a house full of children”.
During the attack, Martin Mongans fired a shot-gun and threw a petrol bomb at the O’Loughlin home.
Judge Comerford said that no one suffered any physical injuries from the attack but the attack “did put eight children at risk”.
Children in house
In evidence, Det Sgt Casey told the sentencing hearing that the ages of the O’Loughlin children at the time were 11, nine, seven, six, five, three and one baby while a 17-year-old younger brother of John O’Loughlin was also in the house at the time.
Asked the connection between Mr Mongans and Ms Keenan, Det Sgt Casey told the court that the two are "brother in law/sister in law and they have a child together also”.
In sentencing Ms Keenan, Judge Comerford said that she "had encouraged Mr Mongans to carry out this attack”.
He said: “She knew that Martin Mongans intended to carry out a violent attack and knew that a gun was going to be involved and to be well out of the ordinary.”
Judge Comerford said an examination of WhatsApp messages between the two showed that Ms Keenan encouraged him to carry out the attack and praised him for doing this.
Judge Comerford said that there is no suggestion that Ms Keenan was instrumental in causing the attack to occur but her texts to Mr Mongans made the attack more likely by encouraging it.
Judge Comerford said that he was satisfied that Ms Keenan was at her home in Co Tipperary at the time of the attack.
The judge said that Ms Keenan had engaged in “criminal but foolish encouragement of Martin Mongans”.
Judge Comerford said that Ms Keenan had goaded someone else to commit a crime via social media.
The judge said that Ms Keenan is a single mother of two children and was married at age 16 and married again at the age of 19.
Judge Comerford said that Ms Keenan lives an isolated existence and the WhatsApp messages show that there was a degree of psychological dependence from Ms Keenan on Mr Mongans.
Judge Comerford said that he gave credit to Ms Keenan for her guilty plea and that she has no previous convictions
At the sentencing hearing asked what was the background to the dispute by State counsel, Lorcan Connolly BL, Det Casey said that Mr Mongans encountered Mr O’Loughlin’s wife, Kelly-Anne in Ennis town centre, and she didn’t like the way he looked at her and Mr O’Loughlin made a phone call to Mr Mongans to remonstrate about that.