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26 Jun 2022

Man had ‘no saliva left to spit’ after making threats to Longford garda

Man had ‘no saliva left to spit’ after making threats to Longford garda

A court has heard how a man had no saliva left in his mouth after repeatedly spitting inside the back of a patrol car following his arrest in Ballymahon last week.

Garda Keith O'Brien told last week's sitting of Longford District Court of how he had also been forced to record David O'Leary (32) 2 St Matthew's Park, Ballymahon, Co Longford making a series of threats to him and his family.

He said the tone and choice of words used by the accused went “far beyond” what he had previously experienced as a rank and file garda officer.

It was revealed Mr O'Leary, who was described as being a “nuisance” with an alcohol problem, had been arrested following an alleged incident and assault in the south Longford town on May 10.

After handcuffing Mr O'Brien, it was alleged the threats made to Garda O'Brien were so “serious and vulgar”, the officer took it upon himself to record the episode on his own mobile phone.

A co accused, Sean Taaffe (28), of 23 St Matthews Park, Ballymahon, Co Longford was also charged with assault, criminal damage to a garda patrol car and urinating in a cell at Longford garda station on the same date.

Unlike Mr O'Leary, solicitor for Mr Taaffe, Brid Mimnagh said her client was consenting to being remanded in custody.

“He wants to plead guilty,” she said.

“He said he had gone fishing and drank a bottle of whiskey. He remembers nothing but will plead (guilty) to everything.”

Defence solicitor for Mr O'Leary, Fiona Baxter, applied for bail in a request which was rejected by Judge Seamus Hughes.

Sgt Enda Daly, when asked if there was a possibility of further charges being levelled at Mr O'Leary simply replied:

“Absolutely.”

Judge Hughes branded the alleged threats made to Garda O'Brien and his family as “totally unacceptable” as he remanded both men in custody for seven days.

The pair were due to reappear at a sitting of Longford District Court yesterday (May 18).

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