16 Aug 2022

Former county council worker calls Longford Gardaí 'scumbags' during drink fuelled row

Judge Seamus Hughes

Judge Seamus Hughes convicted a former county council employee of using threatening and abusive behaviour towards gardaí during an incident in Longford town in July

A former county council employee was convicted of engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour at Longford District Court last week after he shouted at gardaí during the course of a drink fuelled incident in Longford earlier this year.

Forty-two-year-old Paul Owens, 27 Oakvale, Longford, was handed down a €250 fine for breaching Section 6 of the Public Order Act arising out of an incident on July 2, 2021.

Sgt Mark Mahon, for the State, said gardaí were called to the defendant's home address shortly after midnight.
He said upon entering the house, officers spoke to Mr Owens who, the court heard, had been in a dispute and was asked to leave.

Moments later, and as he prepared to make his departure, Mr Owens yelled: 'F*** you, you f****** scumbags' to gardaí.

Details surrounding the alleged incident were read out after Mr Owens' solicitor Bríd Mimnagh said her client was seeking an adjournment owing to the accused man's inability to arrange a consultation with his legal team.

Judge Seamus Hughes refused to consider those suggestions, however, saying Mr Owens had ample opportunity since the date of the alleged offence to consider his position.

“You had all that time in which to talk to solicitors,” he told him.

“Now, we can have a chat.”

In continuing to press Mr Owens as to whether he was acceptive of his alleged culpability on the night of the incident, Mr Owens indicated he would be pleading guilty.

“Asked by Judge Hughes about any previous convictions, Sgt Mahon said Mr Owens had no prior indiscretions for public order offences but did have a number for road traffic offences.

In defence, Ms Mimnagh said her client was someone who had previously worked for close to two decades with Dublin County Council, but had regrettably lost his job and moved to Longford in the recent past.

She added Mr Owens was very much intent on staying out of trouble and anxious to re-enter the workforce.

Judge Hughes fined Mr Owens €250 for the Section 6 Public Order offence while striking out a second Section 4 offence of being drunk in a public place.

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