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Driver 'having bad day' when he had words with garda

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Andrew O’Rourke had parked on double yellow lines

Andrew O’Rourke had parked on double yellow lines

Andrew O’Rourke had parked on double yellow lines

A driver parked on double yellow lines who verbally abused a garda after he was asked to move his vehicle, was just "having a bad day", a court heard.

Andrew O'Rourke (54) was stressed at the time as he is the main carer for his teenage son, who has ADHD.

Judge Dermot Dempsey convicted and fined O'Rourke €150, but warned him he cannot hide behind his son forever.

The judge also said the garda had just been doing his job and O'Rourke could not go around verbally abusing gardaí.

The defendant, with an address at Pinewood Green Lawns in Balbriggan, pleaded guilty to threatening and abusive behaviour at Drogheda Street in Balbriggan at 2.30pm on July 10 last year.

Garda Mark McKenna told Swords District Court that he was on mobile patrol when he came across O'Rourke who was double parked on yellow lines outside a pharmacy.

Gda McKenna said he told the defendant to move his vehicle but "words were exchanged" and O'Rourke used "animated and colourful language".

Apologised

The garda said O'Rourke did eventually leave the area. Gda McKenna said O'Rourke subsequently called the garda station and apologised for his behaviour.

The court heard that O'Rourke had 12 previous convictions, but had not been in trouble since this incident.

Defence lawyer Annette Kealy said O'Rourke was "having a bad day".

She said he was the main carer for his teenage son, who had ADHD, and this had been challenging for the defendant.

On the day, O'Rourke's blood pressure was up and he had been stressed.

Ms Kealy said O'Rourke accepted it was no excuse but he was under a lot of pressure at the time.

The court also heard that O'Rourke, a separated man with five children, had his own health troubles and was on medication for anxiety and high blood pressure.

Ms Kealy asked the judge to be as lenient as possible, saying O'Rourke, if he could, would change how he behaved on the day.


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