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Friday 6 December 2019

Protective dad claimed gardai were 'beating up wrong son'

Andrew O’Rourke claimed he was trying to protect his son
Andrew O’Rourke claimed he was trying to protect his son

A grandfather who was reading a newspaper when gardai arrived to speak to his son started roaring and shouting at officers and struggled with them, a court has heard.

Andrew O'Rourke (53) claimed he became "worked up" when he saw gardai beating up one of his sons.

He also thought that gardai had made a mistake and were interacting with the wrong son.

Judge Miriam Walsh fined O'Rourke €350 and imposed a three-month sentence, suspended for six months.

Garda Cian O'Connor told Swords District Court he went to the defendant's home at Pinewood Green Lawns in Balbriggan last August 11 following reports of an aggressive male.

Gda O'Connor said O'Rourke was in an agitated state. The defendant was told to calm down but he started roaring and shouting at him.

Struggle

Gda O'Connor said O'Rourke resisted arrest and continued to struggle with gardai until he was arrested.

In cross-examination, Gda O'Connor denied gardai had assaulted O'Rourke's son, saying "no one was beating anyone" when he arrived on the scene.

In his evidence, O'Rourke claimed gardai wanted to speak to one of his sons, but they look alike and he believed they were speaking to the wrong son.

The defendant claimed he became upset when he witnessed this son, who had done nothing wrong, being beaten up by gardai. He said he was trying to get to him, to protect his son from gardai, when he struggled with them.

Defence lawyer Annette Kealy claimed O'Rourke's behaviour was "justifiable" as he was trying to protect his son.

However, Judge Walsh disagreed, and found O'Rourke, a father of three sons and a grandfather, guilty of obstructing gardai.

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