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Appeal lodged Gemma O'Doherty avoids jail after being convicted of threatening and abusive behaviour

She has received a two-month suspended sentence and a fine of €750 for the public order offences


Gemma O'Doherty

Gemma O'Doherty

Gemma O'Doherty

Former journalist Gemma O’Doherty has been convicted in Bray District court of threatening and abusive behaviour, refusing to give her name and address to a garda, and resisting arrest.

She has received a two-month suspended sentence and a fine of €750 for the public order offences which occurred on the footbridge in Kilmacanogue on August 28, 2020.

O’Doherty has already lodged an appeal against the conviction.

She and supporters were hanging banners on the bridge when the incident unfolded.

Judge David Kennedy said that the words used by O’Doherty towards gardaí were “atrocious, and they were said deliberately.”

“She called them gangsters, thugs, said that they covered up paedophilia, they were traitors, and covered up murder.”

The judge said it was a clear breach of the peace and intentional in his mind.

O’Doherty’s solicitor Brendan Maloney argued she had not been lawfully arrested under the correct section of the public order act, he said that the garda should have explained the consequences of not giving her name and address, and that her holding a railing did not constitute resisting arrest.

Judge Kennedy did not accept his arguments.

“She walked away while Garda Waldron was speaking,” said the judge. “He wasn’t allowed to finish. Clearly he wasn’t given the opportunity and she wouldn’t have listened anyway. She was in a mind not to give out her name and address.

“She wasn’t happy about being arrested,” said Judge Kennedy. “She did grab something to prevent being removed, which constitutes resistance.”

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“This took place against the background of a campaign in which my client is deeply invested,” said solicitor Brendan Maloney.

“She believes she is on the side of right in that regard and has reached this stage of her life without a blemish or conviction.”

Mr Maloney said the words were uttered in the heat of the moment. “It was an incident everyone regrets,” he said.

Judge Kennedy handed down a two-month sentence for the threatening behaviour, the fine of €750 for the refusal of name and address, and the resisting arrest taken into consideration.

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