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Two convicted in their absence for yelling abuse at Gardaí

Yelling abuse at Gardaí landed a couple in hot water, with the two getting convicted of public order offences which happened in Eyre Square and Mill Street Garda Station in February.

Niall Flynn (24) and Janine Fahy (20), were both convicted of public intoxication to the extent that they might be a danger to themselves or others, as well as the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour that might cause a breach of the peace under the Public Order Act.

Neither Flynn, who has an address at Taughmaconnell, Ballinasloe, nor Fahy, of Cuirt Slua Ballinasloe, appeared for their scheduled date before Galway District Court, but the hearing went ahead in their absence.

The two sets of offences took place separately on the night of February 15, 2020, but were related to one another the court heard.

Garda Cunningham gave evidence that he and Garda Collins were on mobile patrol in Eyre Square at around 8pm when they were approached by a member of the public.

That person said that a drunk man had an altercation with a woman, and was yelling abuse at members of the public.

The two Gardaí approached Niall Flynn at the bus stop, where “He told me to go fuck myself, and he told Garda Collins the same.”

When they informed Flynn that he was being arrested he yelled at members of the public that he would “fucking kill them” Garda Cunningham said.

Garda Collins also gave evidence that “He made a statement that he wanted to kill someone, I’m not sure who to.”

When the two brought Flynn to Mill Street Station, “He was so aggressive in the custody area he had to be immediately placed in a cell,” Garda Cunningham said.

Solicitor John Martin, acting for the two, argued that the arrest and public order charge was based off Flynn yelling curses at the two Gardaí.

He argued that “just the utterance of those words” doesn’t rise to the level of a public order offence, even though “It’s rude, it’s not nice, I don’t think anyone here would say it.”

Judge Mary Fahy disagreed, saying that yelling it at Gardaí in Eyre Square could cause a breach of the peace.

Shortly afterwards, at around 8:30pm, Janine Fahy came into the public office of Mill St Garda Station yelling that “I want to see my fucking boyfriend now.”

The Garda on duty informed her that he had been arrested, and that she couldn’t see him. She then left the station for a short time, but came back in again, yelling that she wanted to see Niall Flynn.

Sergeant Barry Walsh came out to the public office to investigate the noise, and asked Fahy if she was alright.

She called him a “fucking pervert” and told him to fuck off, before going back outside.

Fahy was extremely drunk at the time, the court heard, and she was arrested on public order charges for the verbal abuse.

Mr Martin again argued that these words alone were not likely to cause a breach of the peace, asking “Did you fear that the members of the public would kick off in the office?”

“There has to be cause for breach of the peace. I don’t think the guards were going to break the peace.”

Mr Flynn had 34 previous convictions, and Ms Fahy had no previous criminal history, the court heard.

Judge Fahy convicted convicted both Flynn and Fahy of their public order charges, and issued bench warrants for sentencing.

“It think this behaviour, from what I have heard, is absolutely appalling,” Judge Fahy said.

Briain Kelly
Email: news@galwaydaily.com
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