28 Sept 2022

Suspended prison sentences for father and son who abused Gardaí

Suspended prison sentences for father and son who abused Gardaí

Letterkenny courthouse.

A father and son who verbally abused Gardaí in Buncrana have been handed down suspended prison sentences.

Francis McDonagh and Keith McDonagh appeared before Buncrana District Court with a co-accused, Thomas Mongan.

Garda Sergeant Sean McDaid told the court that Gardaí were on patrol on January 22, 2020 when they observed three males acting suspiciously.

The men were searched under section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

“All three became very irate, shouting and roaring in the estate,” Sergeant McDaid said.

Keith McDonagh shouted to Gardaí asking, ‘do you want to see my c*** that bad?’ McDonagh, the court heard, removed most of his clothing in front of a row of houses.

“There were an awful lot of onlookers,” Sergeant McDaid said.

Thomas Mongan and Francis McDonagh were ‘roaring and shouting loudly and being very abusive to Gardaí’, the court heard

Keith McDonagh (21), with an address at Earlsfort, Buncrana, has 15 previous convictions for matters including public order, theft, assault, criminal damage and burglary.

“This is a charge that stems from before these matters, which were accumulated,” defence solicitor, Mr Rory O’Brien, told the court. “They were drunk and have very little or no recollection of the matter. They have apologised for their behaviour.”

Judge Raymond Finnegan said the apology "rings very hollow at this stage".

Keith McDonagh was sentence to two months in prison with the entire term suspended for a period of 12 months on the accused’s own bond of €100. “If he comes before me for anything in the next 12 months, the sentence will be activated,” Judge Finnegan warned.

Thomas Mongan (25) of Radharc Na Coille, Drumkeen and with 12 previous convictions, was fined €250.

Mongan, Mr O’Brien said, has "very much knuckled down in life" and is a father of three.

“The level of intoxication was such that they weren’t actually sure what they did,” Mr O’Brien said.

Francis McDonagh had 20 previous convictions for offences including public order and assault, for which he received prison sentences, theft, driving without insurance and not having a dog licence.

Mr Frank Dorrian, acting for Francis McDonagh, said his client’s life had been ‘blighted by addiction’. “He was at rock bottom on this occasion,” Mr Dorrian said. “He was in bed, his son rang to say that something was happening and he became involved in circumstances that he shouldn’t have.

Francis McDonagh (42) of Earlsfort, Buncrana, was given a two-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months on the sole condition that he not reoffend.

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