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Racist rant Hairdresser who told taxi driver 'I don't like blacks' before damaging cab fined

Matthew Feeney (28) hurled abuse and damaged the taxi in a violent, drink-fuelled episode on one of his first nights out after lockdown

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Hairdresser Matthew Feeney

Hairdresser Matthew Feeney

Hairdresser Matthew Feeney

An "exceptional" hairdresser told a taxi driver "I don't like blacks" in a racist outburst and damaged his cab by running on to the bonnet.

Matthew Feeney (28) hurled abuse and damaged the taxi in a violent, drink-fuelled episode on one of his first nights out after lockdown.

Dublin District Court heard he had worked in a top London salon but returned to Ireland, had to move back in with his parents and "regressed".

Judge Marie Quirke said Feeney's racist behaviour had been "reprehensible" but spared him a criminal record after he paid €600 in compensation and wrote a letter of apology to the taxi driver.

The judge said he had been "racist in his demeanour to a member of society" and she found this to be "very reprehensible behaviour".

She dismissed the case under the Probation Act, leaving him without convictions.

Feeney, of Cormac Terrace, Terenure, Dublin, pleaded guilty to criminal damage, as well as public intoxication, threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour and violence in a garda station.

The court heard the taxi driver called in to Rathmines garda station at 12.20am on June 4 this year. He said a passenger, the accused, would not pay a fare and gardaí went out to Rathgar Road, where they found Feeney in a highly intoxicated state.

They spoke to him and he paid the fare but as the taxi driver left, Feeney became abusive and said: "I don't like blacks, you are all pigs."

He ran on to the bonnet and front windscreen of the taxi, damaging it, and was arrested.

He continued to be abusive in the garda station and physically resisted officers.

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Feeney apologised for what was a once-off, isolated incident, his barrister said.

He had been "cooped up" in his house due to the pandemic after returning from London, where he worked in a top hairdressing salon and was "exceptional in his field".

"If he could, he wishes he could take it all back," she said.

"He promises he will never be in trouble again."

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