A KERRY man, who accused his partner of wanting to ‘get off’ with her sister’s partner while they were out drinking in Kinsale, ended up with his shirt off in the middle of the road fighting with him when gardaí arrived on the scene.
Martin Kerrigan of 4 Abbeyview Apts, Cork appeared at Bandon District Court last week and pleaded guilty to being drunk in a public place, but denied the more serious charges of using or engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.
John McCarthy of Flat 3, Greenlane, Tralee, Co Kerry was not in court in relation to two charges arising from September 9th last.
Gda Ciaran Leahy told the court that at 11.25pm that night he received a report of two males fighting in the middle of the road in the Glen area of Kinsale. When he arrived on the scene, he noticed one of the men was without a top and told both men to leave the area immediately.
‘Both were shouting at each other and Mr McCarthy had no top on him and he fell against a wall twice as he was so drunk. I arrested both men and charged them with public order offences,’ said Gda Leahy.
However, Martin Kerrigan ran from him and made a leap for John McCarthy, while gardaí were carrying out searches of them after their arrest.
Gda Leahy ended up handcuffing Kerrigan and he was taken to Bandon Garda Station along with McCarthy where both men were charged and made no reply to the charges.
Martin Kerrigan told Judge James McNulty that he was in Kinsale that night with his partner Ann Marie and her sister was with John McCarthy.
‘I didn’t know him and the next thing he starts accusing my partner’s sister of winking at me, which didn’t happen. We were shouting at each other when gardaí arrived on the scene,’ said Mr Kerrigan.
His partner Anne Marie McDonagh told the court that John was giving Martin ‘dirty looks’ all day. ‘Then he accused my sister of looking at Michael and trying to get off with him. Both men were highly drunk and they got into a row afterwards,’ she said. ‘John stripped to his waist with no top on and I tried to calm Martin down and told my sister to calm John down.’
Defence solicitor Ray Hennessy said his client was not the ‘aggressor’ and that John was ‘anxious to go to battle with his shirt off’.
However, solicitor Plunkett Taaffe representing John McCarthy – who was not in court – said the evidence from gardai was that Kerrigan ‘leaped’ at his client when he was being searched by gardaí.
Judge McNulty said he had no doubt that Kerrigan’s conduct in Kinsale was ‘abusive and insulting’ and convicted both men on the two public order charges.
Insp Ian O’Callaghan said that Kerrigan has 56 previous convictions with the majority of those being traffic-related. Mr Hennessy said most of his client’s offending happened a while ago and that he is not in the best of health.
‘John was the main aggressor who took his shirt off,’ said Mr Hennessy. However, Judge McNulty said that Kerrigan is ‘no angel’ and has a bit of form.
He convicted and fined him €300 for being drunk in a public place and sentenced him to 60 days on the more serious public order charge, which was suspended for two years.
As part of his recognisance, Judge McNulty told him to stay out of Kinsale and West Cork. However, Ms McDonagh later requested for them to travel to Bandon as they visit the ‘Holy Woman’ there due to Martin’s ill health. Judge McNulty acceded to her request and said they can go to Bandon. but not to Kinsale.
Judge McNulty deferred imposing penalty on John McCarthy and remanded him on continuing bail to appear in court again on March 21st for him to produce €400 in court.
‘If he has the money he will get a suspended sentence and if not he will serve the sentence. The court considers him to be the cause and instigator of the row,’ said Judge McNulty.