Thurles District Courthouse
A Templemore driver who became verbally abusive and threatening towards gardaí, had a bench warrant issued for his arrest at Thurles district court.
James Donoghue, of 17 Railway View, Templemore, was the driver of a vehicle during “treacherous” road conditions on the morning of January 3, 2021, garda Mark O’Conway told Judge Elizabeth MacGrath.
Garda O’Conway said he was on patrol between Thurles and Templemore when he observed a vehicle travelling in front of him at “excessive speed.”
The road conditions were “treacherous” and there was black ice on the road. “This car was not slowing down,” said Garda O'Conway.
The driver made his way into Templemore and stopped in Railway View. As garda O’Conway approached the driver, James Donoghue, “jumped out of the car, and straight away became aggressive.”
“People started to come out of their houses.” Garda O’Conway said Mr Donoghue started shouting “filthy words” such as “you are nothing but a useless c**t.”
Mr Donoghue approached garda O’Conway and told him: “you are nothing but a smelly pig.” Mr Donoghue was “shouting and roaring” and in full view in a public place.
The gardaí told Mr Donoghue to desist but he refused, and continued shouting and roaring. Mr Donoghue was arrested and had to be restrained and placed in a patrol car and taken to Templemore garda station, where he continued “shouting and roaring.”
Mr Donoghue was charged with failing to comply with a direction of a garda and with being abusive and threatening in public.
Inspector James White asked why did Mr Donoghue have to be restrained. He was “lunging” at another garda, replied garda O’Conway. “He seemed to have a serious problem with the gardaí in Templemore.”
The incident happened at about 2.20am. “I asked him to desist and told him to leave in an orderly manner,” added garda O’Conway.
Garda Trevor Kenehan said he was on patrol with garda O’Conway when he observed Mr Donoghue’s car travelling at “high speed” in “heavy frost and black ice.”
They followed the car and tried to speak to the driver, who stopped in Railway View. “The driver got out and straight away started acting aggressively,” said garda Kenehan. “He said you’re nothing but a fat useless c**t.”
People were awoken from their sleep and blinds were opened. Mr Donoghue called a garda “nothing but a smelly pig” and “certainly acted in an aggressive manner.” The gardaí restrained him as he was “going to turn violent.”
Solicitor Patrick Cadell said there was no appearance by the accused in court.
Judge MacGrath said she was satisfied that the Section 6 offence, of being threatening and abusive in public, had been proven, but she had “concerns” about the Section 8 offence, failing to comply with a garda’s direction. This charge was dismissed.
Mr Donoghue has 16 previous convictions, mostly for road traffic matters, and two for public order matters.
Mr Cadell said Mr Donoghue has seven children. “Unfortunately he is not here to give evidence,” said Mr Cadell. “He does not drink or smoke. He suffers from ill health.”
Some of his children have disabilities and Mr Donoghue, in his 40s, “does suffer from ill health himself.”
Judge MacGrath said Mr Donoghue’s conduct in not wearing a face mask while face to face with gardaí was also a “serious matter.”
A bench warrant was issued for Mr Donoghue’s arrest. “I have to consider a custodial sentence given those facts,” added Judge MacGrath.
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