09 Aug 2022

Tipperary man 'gave the finger' and abused gardaí while celebrating birth of child

Tipperary man 'gave the finger' and abused gardaí while celebrating birth of child

Tipperary man 'gave the finger' and abused gardaí while celebrating birth of child

A 28-year-old man "gave the finger" to a passing Garda patrol car and shouted abuse at gardai while out celebrating the birth of his child, Carrick-on-Suir District Court heard. 

Before the court was father-of-two Keith O'Dwyer of 15 Glenview, Carrick-on-Suir, who pleaded guilty to engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting words and behaviour and failing to obey a garda's direction at Kickham Street, Carrick-on-Suir on September 29.

Gda. Sgt. Sean Buckley outlined that Gda. Moran saw O'Dwyer walking on Kickham Street at 11.55pm on this date. As the patrol car passed, the defendant "gave the finger" with both his hands. He also shouted at the top of his voice that he would take on the gardai if they got out. The gardai got out of the car and asked him to desist but he continued abusing the officers.
O'Dwyer told them: "If you stand in front of me now, I will give you a box in the face and I know where you live." Sgt. Buckley said O'Dwyer was arrested for breaching the Public Order Act.

The sergeant outlined that O'Dwyer had 29 previous convictions, eight of which were for public order offences. His last conviction was received in 2015 for engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting words and behaviour.

Defence solicitor Eamonn Hayes said his client apologised for his behaviour towards the gardai. He explained that O'Dwyer was out that night celebrating the birth of his second child.

"He had not been out for some time and consumed alcohol to excess. He met with the gardai on the way home and reacted in the manner set out before the court," the solicitor continued.

Judge Finn wondered did O'Dwyer plan to fight the gardai using the Queensbury Rules or engage in a "bare knuckle fight" like Conor McGregor. He asked what reason had O'Dwyer to act like this. Mr Hayes conceded his client's behaviour was "inexplicable".

The Judge said the "rude and crude" gesture O'Dwyer made indicated his attitude towards An Garda Siochana. Pointing to the defendant's wish to engage in a fight with the gardai, the Judge wondered did O'Dwyer have "any respect of the rule of law".

Mr Hayes said his client "enormously regretted" the gesture he made and what he said to the gardai. He called to the garda station on five occasions since the incident to apologise.

On the fifth occasion his client met a garda, who agreed to convey his apology. He also asked to meet the garda.

The solicitor also pointed out that his client stopped consuming alcohol after this incident.

After considering the evidence, Judge Finn ordered the Probation Service to assess O'Dwyer for his suitability to do a community service work order.

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