Man causes trouble in Garda station while on temporary release

A man who had been sentenced for a burglary last month entered a busy Garda station while in an intoxicated state, started roaring and shouting, and attempted to skip the queue to get his temporary release form signed, the Galway District Court heard this week.

Paul McDonagh (31 ) with an address at 60 Innishannagh Park, Newcastle appeared in court last Monday and pleaded guilty to being intoxicated in a public place and threatening and abusive behaviour at Galway Garda Station on May 16, 2009, and to failure to appear in court on May 18. Failure to obey the Garda directions was withdrawn.

Inspector Mick Coppinger told the court that at 7pm the defendant entered the public office area of the Galway Garda Station to have his temporary release form stamped and to sign the book. However, there had been a lot of people waiting, and losing his patience, McDonagh started roaring and shouting and began to jump the queue. Such was his behaviour that the Garda on duty had to come out from behind the public office desk and deal with him.

The court heard that the defendant has 17 previous convictions which included sentences for failing to appear in court and burglary in April 2009, and sentences for theft and robbery in 2005.

Defence solicitor Sarah O’Dowd said that her client had just been released from custody and had relapsed with his alcohol difficulties after finding out that his brother had been diagnosed with cancer. She said that the defendant has attempted to turn his life around.

The court heard that the defendant had entered the Warwick Hotel and, after using the bathroom, had walked out the wrong door into the night club area where the open till was. “He is willing to do absolutely anything to avoid a conviction and try to make things work,” said Ms O’Dowd.

“He got a break. He was released early and he goes into a garda station and does this. It was not a mistake, it was a deliberate act. It is before he commits these crimes that he should think of his children,” said Judge McCarthy.

However, Judge McCarthy decided to remand the defendant on continuing bail and ordered the preparation of a community service report. If deemed suitable McDonagh is ordered to complete 100 hours in lieu of three months in jail. The matter was adjourned to June 22 and bail was fixed at €300.


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