A woman well known to Galway’s courts was sentenced for attacking and abusing staff at University Hospital Galway on multiple occasions, along with many public order and theft offences.
Bianca Fahy (45), of 110 An Sean Bhaile, Doughiska was brought before the court in custody, where she pleaded guilty to a long list of alcohol fueled assaults, robberies, and criminal damage.
The Zimbabwean national has been living in Ireland since 1992, and suffers from a serious medical condition that requires frequent monitoring.
This is why many of the charges before the court took place in and around UHG.
Most recently, Garda Seamus Hurley was called to UHG on May 25 at 6:15 when Fahy was a patient at the A&E.
She became aggressive and abusive towards a nurse when she woke in the A&E, punching the nurse in the chest and fleeing the hospital.
Gardaí arrested Fahy shortly on Bridge street, highly intoxicated.
Fortunately the nurse was uninjured. She didn’t want to address the court, but wanted it known that Fahy’s behaviour was unacceptable.
On April 20, just after half nine in the evening, Gardaí were again called to UHG where Fahy was behaving aggressively to staff trying to help her.
She was arrested and charged with breaking the peace.
Again on March 30 gardaí were called to the hospital at 2:55am because Fahy was verbally abusing staff there.
Earlier that night she had been arrested at the Clayton Hotel at half 10 when she asked for a room despite not having any money.
She refused to leave and gardaí were called, where they found her slumped against a pillar in the lobby.
Last Christmas Day, Fahy was visiting another person at UHG and ended up assaulting hospital security.
Staff asked her to leave because she was causing a disturbance, but Fahy refused to budge.
When Security officer Tom Coyne told her that she would be removed from the hospital if she didn’t go on her own Fahy yelled, “You can’t touch me” at him.
While Mr Coyne was escorting her from the ward Fahy became extremely aggressive, knocking everything of the nurse’s station and knocking over the Christmas tree, scattering decorations around the ward.
She then attacked Mr Coyne, repeatedly kicking at him and biting him on the hand. Other security guards had to help restrain her while they waited for Gardaí.
Mr Coyne told the court that it hadn’t bothered him, but it certainly had an impact on how staff worked that day.
Later on Christmas Day, just after 7pm, Fahy returned to the hospital while very drunk and began abusing security at A&E.
Garda Niall Lennon was called to the hospital and Fahy was arrested again for breaking the peace.
Two other charges were heard by the court where Fahy was intoxicated and abusive towards A&E staff on August 21 and September 17 of last year.
The court heard many other charges related to being intoxicated in public, theft, and criminal damage.
On May 18 Garda Pender responded to a report of a woman being abusive on a bus.
He spoke with the driver who said that Fahy had argued with him, then ripped his watch off his wrist and fled.
She was found in Eyre Square with a pliers and scissors, leading to a firearms charge, and was also charged with criminal damage for breaking the watch strap worth €50.
Later that same day, staff at UHG called the Gardaí shortly before midnight because they were concerned about a woman on the Newcastle road walking out into traffic.
She was approached by Gardaí and arrested for being highly drunk in public to such an extent she could be a danger to herself or others.
A week earlier, on May 10, Gardaí received reports about two people on the Doughiska road yelling at each other and running into the road.
Gardaí came to scene at 5:15pm and found Fahy lying on the footpath and arrested her for public drunkenness.
The day before that, on May 9, Fahy committed two separate thefts, stealing €79.98 worth of clothes from TK Maxx, which were not saleable when recovered, and stealing two bottles of wine from Centra on Forster st.
In Paddy Power bookies on March 22, Fahy punched a member of staff in the chest after they asked her to leave because she was highly intoxicated.
On Presentation road, outside Our Ladies College, Fahy was arrested for making a disturbance while drunk on March 13.
Last year, on December 23, Gardaí were responding to a separate incident at An Sean Bhaile when Fahy came to the scene and began verbally abusing gardaí.
She refused to obey an instruction to leave the scene and was arrested.
Three days before that and ambulance was called to Fahy’s house to take her partner to hospital at 1:20am.
Fahy was highly intoxicated and abusive to paramedics, leading to gardaí coming and arresting her.
On September 17 of last year Fahy and her partner caused €750 worth of criminal to a man’s house by throwing stones at his door and through his windows.
He told gardaí that they had asked him for help changing a tyre earlier while they were very drunk, and he told them to come back when they were sober.
Fahy had 44 previous convictions prior to this, the most recent of which were eight theft charges she was sentenced for at Galway District Court in July.
The prosecution said that Fahy had been granted bail in January and went on to commit several of these offences while on bail.
Solicitor for the defence Deirdre Sharkey told Judge Fiona Lydon that her client has a history of alcohol abuse that has caused her to make poor decisions.
“When under the influence of alcohol, she has a tendency to misread the situation,” she said.
She said that Fahy has had time to dwell on her actions while in custody and recognises that her behaviour, particularly in the hospital at Christmas, was “totally out of control”.
Many witness were in court to give testimony, but did not have to speak as Fahy pleaded guilty.
The prosecution withdrew a further 12 charges on her guilty plea.
In total, Judge Lydon imposed a 12 month prison sentence, with a further four months for the assault on the nurse suspended for two years.