officers abused | 

Man (29) tried to headbutt garda and spat at him at Covid checkpoint, court told

Gary Finnegan was found guilty of threatening and abusive behaviour and obstruction under the Drugs Act
Gary Finnegan

Gary Finnegan

Eimear Cotter

A young man tried to headbutt a garda and spat on his boot after they stopped him while conducting a Covid checkpoint, a court has heard.

Gary Finnegan (29) responded “my father’s boxers” when gardai asked him if he had anything on him he should not have.

Finnegan claimed he was pushed to the ground by gardaí, his head was put into dog faeces and he cut his knee.

Judge Dermot Dempsey imposed a four-month sentence suspended for two years.

Finnegan, of Cardy Rock Road in Balbriggan, was found guilty of threatening and abusive behaviour and obstruction under the Drugs Act.

Garda Stephen Murphy told Swords District Court he was operating a Covid checkpoint at Drogheda Street, Balbriggan, on February 6 this year when he saw Finnegan walk past, and it appeared he tried to hide his identity by putting his hand over his face.

Gda Murphy called for the man to stop, but he walked away, and he became suspicious of his behaviour.

He told Finnegan he was going to search him, but he refused to take his hands out of his pockets and told him to “f**k off”.

Gda Murphy told Finnegan he was going to bring him to Balbriggan garda station to be searched.

He became aggressive, and refused to let officers put handcuffs on him.

Gda Murphy said Finnegan called gardaí “d**kheads”, and it took five officers to arrest him.

He was handcuffed to the rear, and tried to headbutt him. A second struggle ensued and Finnegan spat at his boot.

Finnegan claimed he was heading home with two friends after buying groceries.

He claimed gardaí had no reason to stop him, and when asked if he had anything on him he should not have, he said “my father’s boxers”.

He was wearing a face mask so could not have spat at the garda, he said.

He denied calling gardaí “d**kheads”. Lawyer Annette Kealy said Finnegan had epilepsy and suffered mental health problems.


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