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28 Nov 2021

Drunk man verbally abused two female Gardai

Three year driving disqualification for drink driving imposed at Carrick District Court

Carrick-on-Shannon District Court

A drunk man who told two female gardai to f*** off and continued to be abusive to other gardai after he was arrested by calling them “f***ing wankers, scumbags and gobshites” was convicted of public order offences at Carrick-on-Shannon District Court.

Andrew O'Toole, Apartment 7, Hyde House, Hyde St, Mohill pleaded guilty to being intoxicated in public and with threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour on November 13 last at Hyde St, Mohill.

Sgt John O'Reilly outlined the facts of the case. He said that at about 2am on that date Mr O'Toole was seen by gardai staggering on Hyde St, Mohill and he was deemed a danger to himself.

Gardai spent ten minutes talking to him. He was intoxicated and abusive to the two female Gardai and told them to f*** off.
He was arrested and taken to Carrick-on-Shannon Garda Station where his “extremely poor attitude” continued.

He continued to be abusive to members, calling them “f***ing wankers, scumbags and gobshites.”

The court heard Mr O'Toole has previous convictions for road traffic offences, including no insurance, from Cavan District Court in December 2019 for offences committed in 2017.

Solicitor, Martin Burke said the 42 year old single father of two children aged 17 and 22, had no history of offending in that type of way previously.

He said Mr O'Toole was out socialising with friends and actually met one of the Gardai and had “a jocular exchange” with her.

He then went to his friend's house at Hyde Street and later went for food but found that the takeaway was closed.

The Gardai then pulled up and started to question him. He said Mr O'Toole took exception to them and “reacted in a poor way.”

He said Mr O'Toole told him the conversation lasted for something like 45 minutes and he was just about to put the key into the door of the house when the Gardai pulled up.

Admitting he didn't cooperate and that he had reacted badly, Mr Burke said it wasn't a highly aggressive exchange and he was remorseful for what he said and Mr Burke offered that apology on his behalf to the court.

He said Mr O'Toole works as a security officer on a full time contract for Quinn Industrial Holdings and has to have his PSA licence which includes garda vetting. He suggested a conviction might cause him some difficulty with his employment and he asked the court to deal with it without a conviction.

Judge Sandra Murphy asked if there had been any attempt on Mr O'Toole's behalf to apologise to the gardai involved, including those he abused in the station.

Mr Burke said the incident had only happened a number of days previously and he expressed his apology in court on behalf of his client.

Andrew O'Toole told the court what he did was wrong but said the gardai “stopped me for nothing.”

He said he had told one of the gardai earlier that she “had a lovely bum” and an hour later she was questioning him. He said he is normally never like that with people.

Asked about the abuse to gardai in the station, he said they woke him up really early and he was annoyed by that. He said he has never had an incident like this in his life.

Sgt O'Reilly said it seemed to be “a very half-hearted apology” and that he had “hurled abuse at the Guards.”

Judge Murphy said that also concerned her and she agreed Mr O'Toole didn't appear to be wholehearted in his apology.

She said he called two female gardai abusive names and then the following morning called other gardai by very expletive names. She said he now had an opportunity to apologise and was not taking that opportunity.

Judge Murphy said the defendant is a man working in security and he had to be able to keep his temper.

She said this was a public order matter and didn't see that it would affect his employment.

“I see this as a serious issue, the man is not showing remorse,” she said.

“What aggravates it for me is he woke up the next morning and called the guards those expletives. I take that very seriously” she said.

Judge Murphy said he was “not showing adequate remorse and was nearly showing the opposite.”

She convicted and fined him €300 for threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour, allowing three months to pay, and convicted and took into consideration the charge of being intoxicated in public.

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