A man called gardaí ‘Nazi scum’ and ‘rats’ when they called to a house in Kinsale which was hosting a children’s birthday party during the height of Covid restrictions last year.
At Bandon District Court last week, Ross Lahive of Church Street, Cork city denied a charge of breaching Covid restrictions.
Mr Lahive, who was unpresented in court, maintained that he didn’t break the law and was unsatisfied with the details of the case that he received from the prosecution.
The court heard that gardaí in Kinsale had received an anonymous report that an illegal event was taking place at a house in Compass Hill.
A large number of cars were parked outside and there were a number of children inside the house when gardaí called there.
Gda Cormac Dineen told that court that on February 7th last year, he and three other colleagues went to the property and noted that there were about eight to 10 children inside with adults also.
‘I rang the bell and a man came out and answered and I asked if I could speak to the homeowner, but he closed the door. We rang the bell again and then the defendant came out immediately and he was aggressive and insulting,’ said Gda Dineen.
‘He was asking why we were there and told us to get off the property and he became abusive and said we are all “Nazi scum and rats” and to f*** off out of the property.’
Gda Dineen said he proceeded to outline the nature of the offence being committed but Mr Lahive refused to provide his name and address, which went on for several minutes.
Mr La Hive then closed the door and the homeowner eventually came out to them. Later, up to 12 adults – including a solicitor – came out and gardaí took their names and addresses and explained that they were breaching Covid restrictions.
‘Mr Lahive appeared again and continued to be abusive and had an angry demeanour and I kept my distance from him. He wasn’t leaving the property, so I decided to withdraw.’
Gda Dineen said he took a picture of the defendant but added that he (the garda) was being recorded the whole time he was there.
‘At no stage would he give me his address and a fixed charged notice was sent to his address as we were able to identify Mr Lahive through social media and it wasn’t very hard to find out who he is.’
The court heard that a total of 12 fixed charged notices had been issued over this breach, with some of them remaining unpaid.
Mr Lahive said he did call gardaí ‘Nazi scum’ but denied calling them ‘rats’ or telling them to ‘f*** off.’ The court also heard evidence from Gda Richard O’Sullivan who also attended the scene and said the defendant had been filming them from the minute they arrived.
‘He was abusive to us and individually and was totally unco-operative.’
Mr Lahive said he wasn’t breaking any law as he said he told gardaí that he had every right to be there, as his partner lives there.
He said he was ‘absolutely outraged’ that gardaí came to the house and said they were trespassing.
However, Judge James McNulty convicted him of the offence and fined him €300 and gave him 60 days to pay the fine.
Recognisances in the event of an appeal were fixed in his bond of €300, with no cash required.