Monday 26 August 2019

Man protesting against Queen's visit abused garda

A WEXFORD man who called a senior Arklow Garda a 'f ***ing c**t' has been convicted and fined at District Court.

Rory Stafford (44) of 4 High Street, Wexford lodged appeal papers immediately after court following the conviction for threatening, abusive, insulting behaviour on Wexford Road, Arklow on May 17, 2011 for which he was fined €750.

Sgt. Fergal McHugh told the court that while on mobile patrol around 5.30a.m. he and two accompanying officers saw Stafford acting suspiciously near Meadowvale estate with two large sticks with something wrapped around them which later was revealed as a blue flag with stars on it.

He outlined that it was the morning of the Queen's visit and as security was heightened he approached the defendant who continued to repeat abusive phrases and waved the sticks in the sergeant's face.

'I made the decision to arrest him when he wouldn't stop abusing me,' said Sgt. McHugh.

Stafford who holds 14 previous convictions refuted this evidence and said he was a member of the Irish Republican Socialist Party and wanted to stage a peaceful protest to the Queen's visit by erecting the flag on a bridge or flyover. He had taken a bus to Gorey and walked to Arklow on the morning in question.

He admitted to calling Sgt. McHugh a 'stupid c**t' but claimed he never raised his voice.

He said he did not want to protest in Dublin for fear of getting in trouble.

Solicitor John O'Donovan argued the point that if his client had come so close to the face of Sgt. McHugh, the officer would have noted his dental decay as a defining feature.

Judge Connellan dismissed this and said that he could not see this during Stafford's evidence as he spoke with very little lip movement.

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