A man who accused gardai of discrimination and calling him a “smelly tinker” was refused bail at Galway District Court last Monday on the grounds that gardai were unsure of his address, there was a risk of witness tampering, and alleged threats.
Thomas Barrett (36 ) with an address given as 2 St Nicholas Park, Doughiska, appeared before Judge Mary Fahy charged with the alleged breach of a barring order at 73 Corrib Park on January 20 2009, in which he threatened to use violence against the applicant and put her in fear, contrary to Section 17(1 ) of the Domestic Violence Act. He was also charged with dangerous driving at Monivea junction and with resisting arrest by Garda Brendan Dooher at Emmet Avenue, Mervue, on January 31 2009.
Inspector Mick Coppinger objected to bail being granted on the grounds that the defendant had first given his wife’s address, that there was a risk that he would interfere with witnesses, and that he has already threatened gardai.
Garda Eoin Griffin gave evidence that while entering the defendant’s details into the custody records on January 20 he had been threatened. “He said he would fix me before the case got to court,” he said.
Defence solicitor Sean O’Cearbhaill explained that his defendant, who left his wife’s address on January 20, strenuously denies making any sort of threat.
Under cross-examination Garda Griffin said that Barrett had only been “coming and going” at his wife’s address and that he had never seen him at the St Nicholas Park address.
“They are always calling us knackers and tinkers. He [Garda Griffin] said ‘you will get five years you smelly tinker’. I said we’ll see what happens when we go to court,” said Barrett when called to the witness stand. He also denied threatening other gardai who were witnesses to the dangerous driving incident on January 31.
“It’s very easy to go into the witness box and say what you want,” said Judge Fahy who added that she was not impressed with the defendant. She then refused bail on the grounds that gardai were unsure of his address and that she had no doubt that gardai had been threatened. Barrett was remanded in custody to appear at Harristown District Court on February 6 2009.