Man gets suspended sentence for abusive behaviour towards Garda

galway daily news Further arrests made in connection with car park brawl

A man received a suspended sentence for shouting abusive language at Gardaí and spitting during his arrest after being approached while part of a group drinking at a city church.

Thomas Donoghue, of Glenbaun, Ballybane, pleaded guilty to public intoxication and threatening, abusive, or insulting behaviour at Galway District Court.

On July 15, 2020, at St Patrick’s Church on Foster Street, Garda Patrick Hughes approached a group of men drinking outside the church at approximately 8pm.

The group dispersed when Garda Hughes approached, except for Donoghue (48), who became extremely abusive, shouting “fuck off” at the Garda and approaching him with a clenched fist.

He was arrested for public order offences, and during the course of his arrest was spitting at the garda, which Judge Mary Fahy said was of serious concern.

“Spitting at any stage, at anyone, particularly a member of the gardaí carrying out their duty is very serious,” the judge remarked, but added that it was more so during the middle of a pandemic.

The facts were first heard at the District Court on September 14, and a plea entered, and the matter was put back for a Garda Behavioural Report and to hear from Garda Hughes.

Speaking at the sentencing hearing Garda Hughes said that Donoghue was extremely intoxicated, and showed no remorse afterwards.

During the incident he yelled “Fuck off or I’ll get the IRA” Garda Hughes added.

Solicitor for the defence Sean Acton said that his client has been dealing with addictions, and had no memory of the incident.

Judge Fahy imposed a two month prison sentence for the threatening and abusive behaviour, and suspended it for one year, and a €100 fine for the public intoxication.