A local garage owner and one-time election candidate avoided going directly to jail this week (July 23 ) after businessman Noel O’Gara stumped up the €1,500 surety required to appeal the sentence.
Donie Kenny (53 ), with an address at Carrickobrien, Athlone was sentenced to three months imprisonment after being found guilty of being “grossly abusive” to a garda in the early hours of December 29 when she refused to get him a taxi for his sister.
“F***ing garda scum, f*****g b***h...what’s your f***ing numbers, you f*****g b***h, I’ll deal with you, you c***,” Garda Mary Murphy said in sworn evidence was a flavour of the abuse hurled at her by the well-known garageman in both the public office of the Garda station, and also in the street outside.
Kenny and his sister Brenda Quinn had been in Murphy’s Law pub on Barrack Street between 10pm and 2.50am when Ms Quinn claimed she suffered a bout of “random vertigo, which is a side-effect of my chemo[therapy]”.
“Was I intoxicated?” the self-representing defendant asked Ms Jessica Cooney, who was working that night.
“You weren’t as drunk as your sister,” she said.
Kenny said he had asked the manager of the pub to phone for a taxi, and that when he was told it would be outside in “five minutes”, went out to wait, only to have the doors of the pub locked behind him.
When the taxi still didn’t arrive, he knocked on the door, but was not re-admitted, and then went across the road to “seek assistance” for his sister.
Garda Murphy then called for back-up, and had her version of events corroborated in evidence by these colleagues.
Kenny and his sister both denied that he ever said such things to Garda Murphy but at no stage, however, did he say why he didn’t call for a taxi or an ambulance himself.
After a three-hour case, during which Judge Seamus Hughes offered Kenny almost every indulgence, the judge commended him for the concern he showed for his sister but wished “you had shown the same level of concern for a female garda”.
“This barrage of abuse was corroborated almost verbatim by Gardas Leenane and Lucas,” said the judge.
“Almost is the word. They made this fabrication up to cover their incredible incompetence,” said Kenny.
“You were grossly abusive. This is the worst public order [case] I’ve heard in the four years I’ve been here...You strike me as a man who has many chips on his shoulder, and grudges,” said the judge before handing down the sentence.
After Kenny spent a short while in the dock, Mr O’Gara - who had been an interested spectator in the court - offered the surety to Ms Quinn in order to allow her brother appeal the sentence to the Circuit Court.