26 Sept 2022

Court will not accept any racism, man who called taxi driver 'a black c***' in Laois town told

Court will not accept any racism, man in dispute with taxi driver in Laois town told

''This court would not accept any racism,’’ a man was told at Portlaoise District Court recently.  

Rocky McDonagh, 18, or 13 Cloncollig, Tullamore was charged with intoxication and using or engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour at the Top Square, Portlaoise on September 5 this year. 

Sgt JJ Kirby outlined to the court that at 12.15am on the Top Square, Garda Burke observed Mr McDonagh trying to get into a taxi. The taxi driver told Mr McDonagh he already had a fare. Mr McDonagh called the taxi driver ''you black c****,’’ and slammed the door shut. He was arrested.

Appearing for Mr McDonagh, solicitor Barry Fitzgerald said he was effusive in his apologies. His father was with him in court. 

Ordinarily he did not drink and he was heavily medicated for mental health issues. 

He had not taken a drink in two years. On the date in question his wife received news she was pregnant and he went for a drink. He got completely inebriated. 

It was a mixture of drink and medication. 

He would pen a letter of apology to the taxi driver. The matter was put to second call to allow Mr McDonagh write a letter of apology to the taxi driver. 

In his letter Mr McDonagh said he was very sorry and it would never happen again. 

Judge Staines said that the court would not accept any racism. It was a horrible thing to say to a man doing his job. 

She asked for a victim impact report and told him to pay €100 in compensation to the taxi driver. The letter of apology and compensation were to go to the taxi driver. 

The matter was put back to October 21. 

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