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Monday 11 December 2017

Sex offender linked to cartel hurled abuse at gardai when stopped

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)

A convicted sex offender with links to the Kinahan cartel was arrested for hurling abuse at gardai after they stopped a car he was in as he travelled to a funeral.

Barry Finnegan (36) became "extremely aggressive" towards officers when they questioned him after he got out and blocked their patrol car near Temple Street Children's Hospital.

A court heard he was on his way to the funeral of an eight-year-old girl, a family friend, and "emotions were very high".

Judge Kathryn Hutton app-lied the Probation Act, leaving him without a conviction, after he paid €300 to charity.

Finnegan, of Rory O'Connor House in the north inner city, pleaded guilty to threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour as well as failing to give his personal details to gardai.

Gda Peter Byrne told Dublin District Court the incident happened at Temple Street at 11am last April 5.

He was at a checkpoint mounted under Operation Hybrid, an initiative designed to provide an armed response to organised crime in the capital, when he saw a car turn off into Hardwicke Street Flats.

The officers followed and Finnegan stepped out of the car on to the roadway, blocking the passage.

When spoken to, Finnegan became "extremely aggressive" in front of members of the public, including families with children present, Gda Byrne said.

There was on-street parking being used by people accessing the hospital.

The accused was cautioned a number of times before being arrested and taken to Store Street Garda Station.

Once there, he calmed down and his demeanour became "level-headed".

Misunderstanding

He told gardai he had been in attendance at a number of funerals in a short space of time.

The court heard Finnegan had 13 previous convictions, including one under the Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990 and several for motoring offences.

He had been given a suspended sentence on July 24 for his most recent offence, failing to notify gardai of a change of his details as a sex offender.

Gda Byrne agreed with the accused's lawyer that this had been due to a "misunderstanding of the conditions" rather than a deliberate breach.

The suspended sentence post-dated the latest incident.

Finnegan had apologised for his actions on the day and this apology had been accepted by the garda, his lawyer said.

He had been on his way to the funeral of the eight-year-old girl. It was the second funeral he had attended in a three-day period.

Finnegan owned a dog kennel and earned €1,700 a month, the court heard.

Judge Hutton dismissed the charges under the Probation Act after the charity payment.

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