AN enraged Ennis man struck a detective as gardaí attempted to search his car for drugs, a court has heard.
John McDonagh (25) unintentionally struck Det Gda Trevor Shannon across the face as the detective and other members of the Clare Garda Divisional Drugs Unit attempted to search Mr McDonagh’s car.
Details of the incident, which occurred on Drumbiggle Road, Ennis on June 12, 2017, were heard at Ennis District Court last Tuesday.
Det Shannon told the court that after Mr McDonagh became “extremely aggressive” after being informed that gardaí were going to search his brown Peugeot 307.
The court heard McDonagh jumped from the car with his fists clenched, shouting obscenities at the gardaí. Det Shannon said the accused was acting in an “enraged manner” and swinging his fists.
The detective said that Mr McDonagh struck his face though he added that he did not believe the blow was intentional. “It was a hot head moment,” Det Shannon said.
The court heard that after the “argy bargy” Mr McDonagh was asked to calm down and did so.
John McDonagh, a father of four with an address at Abbeyville, Ennis, pleaded guilty last week to engaging in behaviour or using words with intent to provoke a breach of the peace at Drumbiggle Road, Ennis on June 12. He was also originally charged with unlawfully obstructing Det Gda Trevor Shannon and Det Gda Garry Stack in the exercise of their duties. The charge alleged Mr McDonagh swallowed bags of suspected heroin.
That charge, and another charge alleging Mr McDonagh knowingly permitting the possession of drugs in a vehicle, were both dismissed.
Judge Patrick Durcan dismissed the charges after Mr McDonagh offered a guilty plea to the breach of the peace offence.
That plea was acceptable to the State who offered no evidence on the drugs related charges, leading to their dismissal. John McDonagh has previous convictions, including one for drugs possession and assault but none for public order offences.
Of his client’s actions on June 12, defence solicitor Andrew Darcy said one of Mr McDonagh’s children was sitting in the back of the car at the time. He said Mr McDonagh’s acted in the manner he did because he said his child got a fright.
Judge Durcan remarked that the presence of a young child in the car could be viewed as an “aggravating factor” in the case. “Yes judge, it could be a double edged sword, the introduction of it all”, Mr Darcy replied.
Judge Durcan said he was appalled at the manner in which Det Shannon had been abused and attacked, describing Mr McDonagh’s behaviour as “disgusting.”
But noting the accused’s guilty plea, lack of previous convictions for public order offences, the judge said that if Mr McDonagh paid €400 to the Court Discretionary Fund, he would strike out the charge against the accused.
Mr McDonagh was given until November 15 to make the payment.

SHARE
Previous articleGardaí probe Ennis grenade threat claim
Next articleCocaine stash in St.Flannan’s Wall

A native of Ennis, Ronan Judge completed his Journalism and Communications Diploma course at Griffith College. The Clare People is his first newspaper appointment.

Contact Ronan on rjudge@clarepeople.ie

Leave a Reply