A MAN who believed the gardaí in Bantry were picking on his son went into the garda station at 1.22am and became so abusive to the garda in charge that he called him ‘a pig and a c***.’
Tommy Walsh (52) of 20, Dromleigh Estate, Bantry, pleaded guilty through his solicitor, Flor Murphy, to two public order charges that were committed in the early hours of November 10th 2018.
The first charge – a charge of failing to comply with an instruction by Gda Dave Harmon to leave the station after he became abusive – carried a €300 fine.
Tommy Walsh fined €200 on the second charge, a charge of engaging in threatening or abusive words or behaviour at Bantry Garda Station.
In evidence for the prosecution, Sgt Brian Harte said the accused opened the glass hatch in the foyer and started shouting that he was looking for his son.
According to his solicitor, the accused had heard third-hand that something awful had happened.
He said his client had been out socialising when he heard that his son was being detained and the red mist descended.
‘He felt his son had been unfairly treated and he was venting at the gardaí,’ said Mr Murphy, who pointed out that his client has since apologised for his behaviour and for mouthing off on the night in questions.
Sgt Harte pointed out that the venting continued after Gda Harmon came out to the foyer to speak to Tommy Walsh.
At that point, the sergeant said the accused pointed his finger in the garda’s face saying he was out to get his son.
The sergeant said the accused told the garda to ‘fuck off’ and said that he was ‘a big man hiding behind his blue suit.’
It was at that stage that Gda Harmon asked the accused to leave the station but Tommy Walsh refused to do so.
Mr Murphy told the court that his client understands that what he did was wrong and that he had no other excuse other than being an over-protective parent.
The solicitor pointed out that the son’s public order offence has already been dealt with in a lenient manner by the court and he said he has not come to the attention of the gardaí since then.
Appealing for leniency for the dad, Mr Murphy said Tommy Walsh works in maintenance at Bantry General Hospital, and as a volunteer fireman, and he has never been in trouble before.
Judge McNulty was of the opinion that ‘52 is late in life to be getting into trouble,’ but because of his age, his previous good character, and the fact that he serves his community as a volunteer fireman, he would deal with both offences by way of fines totalling €500.