Longford Court: Public order charges struck out

Judge dismisses case after man hands €500 to Garda Social Fund

Longford Leader

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Six months in prison for Leitrim man who stole from a church

Longford District Court

A man who allegedly shouted obscenities at gardaí in Ballymahon after attending a rugby match in Dublin has avoided a criminal conviction.

William Flanagan, of The Pidgeons, Athlone, Westmeath shouted “you f****** w*****” at gardaí shortly after being told to leave a pub as it closed its doors for the night.

The incident, which occurred on April 3 2017 at Main Street, Ballymahon had initially been contested by Mr Flanagan with a request being made for the release of evidence in the case.

“This is a man who didn’t plead guilty the first day and had to get disclosure,” argued Judge Hughes.

Defending, Frank Gearty said Mr Flanagan had attended a Leinster versus Wasps rugby encounter earlier that day.

“Unfortunately, he (Mr Flanagan) went into a pub in Ballymahon and there was quite a lot of drink had at that stage,” said the Longford town solicitor.

Mr Gearty said regrettably his client committed the public order offence while being “at large” on Ballymahon’s Main Street.

An unimpressed Judge Hughes suggested the Gardaí’s presence had aggrieved Mr Flanagan.

“He (Mr Flanagan) was upset because he was put out of the pub and that interfered with his level of comfort,” argued the Judge.

“He’s some rugby supporter.”

Mr Gearty countered that by saying the 25-year-old was extremely contrite over what had transpired and wished to apologise to the court.

His sincerity, Mr Gearty added, was perhaps best illustrated by the fact Mr Flanagan was accompanied to the court by his father.

“Did you tell your father what was said about you?” Judge Hughes queried, as it was revealed his previous appearance had appeared in an earlier edition of the Leader.

“Give over €500 to the Inspector Bláithín Moran to put it into the Garda Social Fund,” ordered Judge Hughes.

At that stage Mr Flanagan went to the back of the court before returning with the money in his hand.

Judge Hughes asked why Mr Flanagan was relying on his father for financial assistance, but responded by claiming it was in fact he who paid it.

The public order charge, together with a second charge of failing to comply with the directions of a garda, were consequently struck out.