Woman Bundled Into Car Boot Tells Of Harrowing Ordeal

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Martin Gallagher

A woman who was bundled into the boot of a man’s car while out for a walk near the Phoenix Park in Dublin has told his sentence hearing she was afraid for her life.

Martin Gallagher, of Rusheeney Avenue, Hartstown, Dublin 15, will be sentenced tomorrow for false imprisonment and assault causing the woman harm.

Bernadette O’Connor got up to go for a walk at 6am on the morning of January 6th 2020. Her husband had dementia and she needed to be home before he got up.

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While out walking near the Phoenix Park, she noticed a man standing at the back of his car, which was parked on the side of the road with the boot open.

What happened next caused her to fear for her life. She told gardaí she was grabbed from behind and bundled into the boot of the car. She said she put up a struggle.

Her legs were sticking out and she just kept screaming. She wouldn’t let him close the boot so he dragged her out and tried to force her into the back of the car.

A passing motorist came to her aid and the man sped off.

Martin Gallagher was tracked down and while he initially denied the allegation, he eventually admitted doing it, claiming he thought it was a friend.

He described it as “a joke that went wrong”. Judge Martin Nolan will sentence him tomorrow morning.