Judge left ‘horrified’ at abuse of garda

A District Court judge was left “horrified and shocked” at the behaviour of a Monaghan man who told a garda to go f*** himself and then called him a “fat bastard”.

However, it was the abused garda who came to Fergal Quigley’s rescue at Galway District Court last week when he asked Judge Mary Fahy to give the young man a chance. Judge Fahy had earlier imposed a two month prison sentence but just as the court sitting was concluding she decided to suspend it on condition that the defendant be of good behaviour.

The 24-year-old with an address at Serkin, Drum, Monaghan, was charged with being intoxicated in a public place and threatening and abusive behaviour at Market Street, Galway, on November 22, 2008.

Inspector Ernie White told the court that at 12.20am one of the defendant’s friends had been bending down at a car and when a garda officer approached to investigate the defendant turned around and said: “go f*** yourself, you fat bastard”. He said that Quigley does have previous convictions for public order offences.

Defence solicitor Olivia Traynor agreed that this type of behaviour was “totally inappropriate”, especially the comments made. She said that Quigley had been down in Galway with friends when one of them had attracted the attention of the Gardaí. Ms Traynor said that Quigley had “stuck his nose in” and that he was disgusted with himself.

“That type of abuse can’t be tolerated. How dare he come down here and abuse a garda. I’m absolutely shocked that anyone would speak to anyone like that let alone a member of the gardai... Like most young people these days he has gone to third level education. People in this country didn’t talk to those in authority when they didn’t have that. Drink is no excuse,” said Judge Fahy who then imposed a two month jail sentence and fined him €700.

However, later in the evening following an entreaty by the garda officer involved and Ms Traynor, Judge Fahy suspended the sentence for 12 months on the condition that Quigley be of good behaviour. She added that the defendant was lucky that the garda had been in court as she “might not have been as magnanimous”.


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