Three-time All-Ireland winner Pat Ryan, a Limerick hurler, successfully appealed against a prison sentence and perjury conviction on Thursday, seven months after pleading guilty to lying in the criminal case against him.
Judge Tom O’Donnell allowed his appeal in the case in which Mr Ryan admitted last March that he had lied under oath in a court in October 2020 about allegedly speeding.
Mr Ryan (28), from Doon, Co Limerick, appealed last March against the severity of a two-week prison sentence imposed on him by Judge Patricia Harney at Limerick District Court.
Judge Harney, who jailed Mr Ryan for two weeks last March, told the former Limerick hurling star he had told “a blatant lie”.
When Mr. Ryan was subpoenaed as a witness in the 2020 speeding case, he incorrectly told the court that he had not received a subpoena regarding the alleged speeding.
The perjury later came to light when gardaí, as part of a separate investigation, discovered a photograph of the speeding summons sent from Mr Ryan’s mobile phone to the phone of an unidentified third party.
The court heard that text messages about the summons were also exchanged between both phones.
Mr Ryan’s lawyer John Herbert argued at an earlier appeal hearing that Mr Ryan was unaware of the law and courts and the serious consequences of being convicted of offenses such as “falsehoods, lies or deception”.
Padraig Mawe, Limerick City Attorney,
told the court today that perjury was a “serious offense” and pointed out that Mr Ryan had appeared in court with an “impeccable record”.
At an earlier hearing on Mr Ryan’s appeal last May, Judge Tom O’Donnell said perjury was an offense that “goes to the heart of the administration of justice”.
He said Limerick’s senior hurlers were “role models for the coming generation” and it was “disappointing” that one of them had appeared in the criminal court.
Judge Tom O’Donnell today allowed Mr Ryan’s appeal, saying what Mr Ryan had done was “undoubtedly very wrong”.
However, Judge O’Donnell said that given the “highly unusual circumstances of the case” as well as the “enormous amount of publicity” the case had already received in the media, he had “serious concerns about the impact of a sentence of this nature being wholly disproportionate.” “.
“The law is one thing and justice is another,” Judge O’Donnell said.
The judge said he did not formally order Mr. Ryan to perform community service in lieu of prison time, but noted that Mr. Ryan “volunteered” into probation and completed 100 hours of community service “with impeccable composure.”
Mr Ryan, wearing a gray cap, navy jacket and trousers, did not comment during the hearing.