herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

I've got a withered hand, claims milkman who did press-ups in bizarre bonfire threat to garda

A MILKMAN told a garda to "f*** off" and then bizarrely started running on the spot and doing press-ups on the ground after he was told to move away from a bonfire.

Father-of-nine Fergus Donegan (42) also threatened the male officer, telling him that he would "get him" the next time he saw him.

Donegan denied abusing Garda Alan Murray, and claimed he had a withered hand and was physically unable to do press-ups.

The defendant, of Nutgrove Crescent in Rathfarnham, was found guilty before Tallaght District Court of threatening and abusive behaviour.

A judge ordered a pre-sentence report and adjourned the matter to a date in March.

Garda Alan Murray said he was on mobile patrol on Halloween night last year, when he and colleagues were asked to clear people away from a bonfire at Meadowpark Avenue in Rathfarnham.

Garda Murray said he was directed to do this following a number of reports of anti-social behaviour in the area.

The court heard the officer approached Donegan and asked him to leave the area. He replied "get the f*** away from me".



Agitated

The garda said the defendant became agitated, and then started running on the spot, doing press-ups, and stood in a fighting stance, with his fists raised towards him.

Donegan denied abusing the garda, and claimed he was physically unable to do press-ups as his hand was withered after a firework exploded in it.

Judge James McDonnell found Donegan guilty of threatening and abusive behaviour.

The court heard the defendant has 36 previous convictions, mostly for public order matters.

Defence solicitor Michael Hennessy accepted that Donegan had a dreadful record but he asked a judge not to imprison him, as his wife gave birth to their ninth child, a daughter, only three days ago.

He said Donegan, a former milkman, hadn't worked for three years since the firework incident. He had just confiscated it from a child when it went off.

Judge McDonnell ad-journed sentencing to a date in March, saying he believed the defendant's wife needed his help and support with their children.

hnews@herald.ie

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