Portarlington man called gardaí 'scumbags' during search

Portarlington man called gardaí 'scumbags' during search

A Portarlington man has been fined for calling the gardaí “scumbags” after they stopped and searched him.

Mark Gallagher (34), 55 St Brigid’s Square, Portarlington, was arrested on foot of a bench warrant and brought before last week’s district court. He was charged with threatening or abusive behaviour.

Garda William Whelan gave evidence that on January 22 this year, at the Link Road, Portlaoise, the accused was a passenger in a car that was stopped by gardaí and he was observed attempting to conceal something.

The gardaí informed him that he was going to be searched and he became abusive, calling the gardaí “scumbags”.

He was quite irate and had to be restrained, said Garda Whelan.

The accused had previous convictions for theft and public order matters.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said the accused wished to apologise.

He had been a passenger in the car with his father and took exception, not welcoming the search the gardaí carried out. This search was negative, she said.

Ms Fitzpatrick said her client was a full time carer for his father, who had suffered another stroke that week.

She said that no issues have arisen between the accused and the gardaí since then, and Garda Whelan confirmed that the accused had not come to garda attention since.

In sentencing, Judge Catherine Staines said this had been an appalling way to speak to the gardaí, who were just trying to do their job.

She convicted and fined the accused €100.