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24 May 2022

‘Outrageous carry on’ as Longford man waves cash at and taunts garda

Longford Courthouse.

A jobless father of four has been sentenced after publicly ridiculing a garda at a checkpoint, telling him: “Go f*** yourself, you’re on the minimum wage; your kids got nothing for Christmas”.

A jobless father of four has been sentenced after publicly ridiculing a garda at a checkpoint, telling him: “Go f*** yourself, you’re on the minimum wage; your kids got nothing for Christmas”.

Thirty-two-year-old Patrick McDonnell, 84 Ardnacassa Avenue, Longford was sentenced to one month in prison, suspended for a period of six months following an incident at Ardnacassa Avenue, Longford on January 9 2021.

Sgt Enda Daly, for the prosecution, told last week’s sitting of Longford District Court of how Gardaí Paul Stuart and Denise Dockery came across the accused while conducting a checkpoint shortly before 4pm.

The court heard Garda Dockery had stopped a car being driven by the accused before attempting to seize the vehicle under Section 41 of the Road Traffic Act.

Sgt Daly said Garda Stuart noticed Mr McDonnell becoming verbally abusive and approached the vehicle to lend assistance to his female colleague.

It was at that stage, Judge Bernadette Owens was told, Mr McDonnell suddenly “flung open” the driver’s door narrowly missing Garda Stuart in the process.

During Garda Stuart’s attempts to question the Longford man over his conduct, it was revealed the accused began shouting a torrent of abuse in front of startled onlookers.

Sgt Daly said Mr McDonnell told Garda Stuart: “Go f*** yourself,” ya faggot ya, you’re on the minimum wage. Your kids got nothing for Christmas, they don’t even get Christmas dinner.”

Mr McDonnell, who pleaded guilty to engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour, then attempted to openly taunt the rank and file garda while brandishing a sum of cash in the air.

“See that money there, that’s three days of their (Gardaí’s) wages,” he yelled.

“They have nothing better to do, they are only on €400 a week. They have to pay mortgages.”

As he continued his tirade of abuse and telling Garda Stuart he was “just a Covid guard”, Mr McDonnell took out his mobile phone before pointing it at both officers.

Sgt Daly said he proceeded to inform the pair on at least three occasions: “I have this on record, give me your name and badge number.”

In defence, solicitor Bríd Mimnagh conceded the evidence presented in court made for grim reading.

She said Mr McDonnell, despite apologising both on the day of last Tuesday’s court sitting and at a previous juncture, was someone who “obviously has a big mouth” and should have known better than to have engaged in such vitriol.

“It was an outrageous carry on by Mr McDonnell and he is very apologetic and embarrassed by it,” she said.

Ms Mimnagh said Mr McDonnell suffers from depression and had not come to garda attention since.

She also revealed her client had been under adverse pressure at the time with his daughter being sick and under the care of medics at Mullingar’s Midland Regional Hospital.

Ms Mimnagh added that while her client was unemployed and on social welfare, he had brought €200 to court with him by way of recompense.

“He should stop and think before he talks,” she said, adding Mr McDonnell is due to become a father for a fifth time at the end of March.

“He knows he is at the mercy of the court.”

Judge Owens convicted Mr McDonnell of the Section 6 public order charge, sentencing him to one month in prison with the term being suspended for a period of six months.

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