Man sentenced for harassing anti quack treatment activist

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ASPartOfMe
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20 Jul 2022, 9:35 am

Man jailed for sending 'vile and vulgar' social media messages to autism campaigner - Irish Examiner

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A man who subjected an autism campaigner to silent phone calls followed by "vile and vulgar" social media messages — including threatening to "experiment" on one of her children — has received a 10-month jail sentence.

Eamonn Deegan, aged 55, of 43 Springfield Court, Celbridge, Co Kildare, pleaded guilty to harassing West Cork-based Fiona Pettit O'Leary, putting her in fear.

At Clonakilty District Court yesterday, Judge James McNulty heard that when Deegan was arrested, he admitted it was his phone but replied "no comment" when asked if he was responsible for the messages.

In court he pleaded guilty, with his solicitor, Conrad Murphy, saying Deegan, a former "chronic" cannabis user, was homeless at the time of the offences and regretted what he had said.

The harassment took place between June 3 and June 7, 2019, Deegan beginning with silent phone calls in the middle of the night before then sending direct messages through the Messenger app.

In the messages — the first batch of which Ms O'Leary did not respond to — he called her "f*****g vile" and said "you are a big bag of suicide waiting to happen".

He said Ms O'Leary was "f****d up" and referring to one of her sons, who is also autistic, said: "Would you not focus on that f**k up you raised?".

In another message he said: "You are not autistic. b***h, I'm talking to you."

In another he said: "There is no such thing as autism, you are just a bad mother."

Again referring to Ms O'Leary's son he said: "I am willing to experiment on him."

In another he said: "I want to experiment on your child, I am a Mensa level polymath."

As the message exchange continued, Ms O'Leary responded, calling him "a coward" and finishing by calling him "a creep".

Mr Murphy said his client never had the means nor the intention to travel to West Cork and Deegan apologised in court, acknowledging that he had never met Ms O'Leary in person and that he began verbally abusing her after she had written something about what he called "a Christian group" to which he was affiliated.


Judge McNulty said what occurred had "crossed the boundaries" and was far beyond mere verbal abuse. He said it was harassment of a mother of five, with four children who have autism, and that it was a "grave offence".

He noted Deegan's previous convictions, which include five for misuse of drugs, one for the sale and supply of drugs, and six for possession of knives.

"His fondness for knives and his history of drug use would give the injured party genuine cause for concern," he said.

Allowing credit for the guilty plea and the expression of remorse, the judge sentenced Deegan to 10 months in prison.

Appeal against the severity of the sentence was lodged on Deegan's own bond of €5,000, no cash required, and with strict conditions that include having no direct or indirect communication with Ms O'Leary or her family, no online abusive messaging, or contact with any other person or group, and that he stay out of Co Cork bar court appearances.

Ms. O’Leary tweeted the criminal spoke to her also.

Fiona O’leary fighting for a brighter tomorrow. - Autistic Rights Togeather

How an Irish woman helped catch a prolific Covid con artist in Las Vegas


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“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


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25 Jul 2022, 8:13 pm

The man sounds like he has serious psychological problems.



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26 Jul 2022, 9:34 pm

He should be sentenced. He has no right to harass people like that.


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25 Sep 2022, 7:20 am

Man who threatened to harm autism activist Fiona Pettit O’Leary gets bailed again

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A man imprisoned for threatening to harm an autism rights activist and her children has been bailed once more, leaving the woman “frightened for the safety of her family”.

He was bailed after lodging an appeal. Deegan, who already has six convictions for knife possession as well as various drugs offences, was barred from sending abusive messages to Ms Pettit O’Leary and other women online as part of his bail conditions.

But he breached this within weeks in an online outburst in which he referred to Ms Pettit O’Leary as “lefty trash”. He was imprisoned three weeks ago in connection with this. But on Friday two weeks ago, he was granted bail again ahead of his appeal to be held on October 6.

The Sunday Independent recently revealed Deegan is under criminal investigation for abusing and threatening other women, including one woman whose child had died only the week before. Some of the women are now making garda statements.

Ms Pettit O’Leary said she feels “very let down” by the criminal justice system and is “shocked” that Deegan has now twice been bailed, despite being in breach of bail conditions. “I’m disgusted with the legal system. And genuinely frightened. Eamonn Deegan has a wide network of far-right friends who are racist and target vulnerable women and children online. Eamonn Deegan is not just a danger to me. He is a threat to society.

If Deegan fails in his appeal on October 6, his 10-month jail term will be reactivated.


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“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


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07 Oct 2022, 10:02 am

Man made online threats to Cork autism campaigner, court hears

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A who made online threats to an autism campaigner and her children has been sentenced to 10 months in prison with the last two suspended.

Eamonn Deegan, aged 55, with an address at Springfield Court, Celbridge, Co Kildare had appealed a 10-month sentence imposed on him in the District Court in July this year.

Mr Deegan had admitted sending messages to Fiona O’Leary, a mother of five from West Cork, via Facebook Messenger calling her a “b***h” and accusing her family of “leaching” from the State.

Cork Circuit Court also heard Mr Deegan made threats suggesting the world would be a better place if Ms O’Leary and her children “were not in it.” Ms O’Leary fought back tears as she read a statement to the court.

She said she lived in fear for her safety since Mr Deegan was released on bail. She said four of her children were autistic and one has been diagnosed with cancer. She asked Judge Helen Boyle: “I beg you to reconsider and give this man a jail sentence.”

State solicitor Jer Healy told the court Mr Deegan was convicted of harassment in the District Court in July 2022, but appealed his 10 month sentence. He was released on bail but breached the conditions in August this year.

Mr Healy said Mr Deegan was bound not to engage in abusive online behaviour with anybody but abused another woman on Facebook whose child had recently taken their own life. The woman was known to Ms O’Leary and informed her, and Mr Deegan was subsequently arrested in Kildare and brought before the District Court in Bandon, Cork on the same day.

He was remanded in custody with a slight delay because of a Covid outbreak until September 16 where he was bailed once again.

Giving evidence, Inspector Debra Marsh from Clonakilty Garda Station said Mr Deegan had 13 previous convictions including for the possession of knives, one for unlawful possession of firearms, and for drugs offences.

Barrister Lorna Brooks representing Mr Deegan said he had previously been homeless and had drug issues, but was now living a “strict” life style and did not even drink coffee.

She said he was living in Dublin and hoping to enter education next year. She said Mr Deegan was embarrassed by the online comments and “would not be getting involved” in politics any more.

Judge Helen Boyle said Mr Deegan didn’t appear to have learned his lesson as he had breached his bail conditions. She re-affirmed the 10 month prison sentence but suspended the last two months.

She also bound him to keep the peace for two years and added further conditions that he would not contact Fiona O’Leary or any member of her family directly or indirectly by any means for a period of five years.

She also ordered that he would not set up any anonymous online account for that purpose and ordered that he would not come within 200 metres of Ms O’Leary at her home or place of work.


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Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman