Donegal man's conviction for public order offence during visit by Taoiseach is upheld

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Donegal man's conviction for public order offence during visit by Taoiseach is upheld

Flashback to July 24, 2015 when the Taoiseach visited Glenties.

A man who was convicted in the district court for a public order offence when Taoiseach Enda Kenny visited the MacGill Summer School had the conviction upheld on appeal at Donegal Circuit Court.
Gerry Bray of Church Road, Killybegs had been convicted of causing a breach of the peace at Main Street, Glenties on July 24, 2015.
During Tuesday's appeal hearing Garda Gerard Gallen said he had been on public order duty on the day and had been briefed that the Taoiseach was due to attend the summer school taking place in the Highlands Hotel and that there would be water protesters present.
He said as the State vehicle arrived a man jumped the barrier and ran towards the car in a "threatening and agressive manner" and shouted "scumbag" as he did so while carrying a sign in his hand.
Garda Gallen apprehended and removed him from the scene.
He showed the sign carried by the man to Judge Cormac Quinn that read "Not My Debt".
Mr Bray crossed examined Garda Gallen and said a copy of the district court record case showed that Garda Gallen first claimed he knew him and later denied he knew him and this indicated he was not telling the truth. Garda Gallen said he did know him prior to the day.
Mr Bray told the court he simply stepped over the barrier and walked across the road for "a chat" about "political policing" with the Taoiseach when he was "jumped on by the gardaí".
He said he had addressed the Taoiseach twice before on different occasions and he did not shout abuse at him on the day in question, nor was he a "thug or an ignorant man".

Footage
He said there was footage of the Taoiseach's arrival on national television, as well as a clip on Youtube of the alleged incident, which would show he did not shout any obscenities.
Witness, Ms Charlie McDyre, said she was attending the protest and did not see Mr Bray shout abuse on the day, adding that he "didn't get far" once he crossed the barrier.
Judge Cormac Quinn adjourned the matter to have an opportunity view the clip on Youtube.
At the reconvened hearing he said he viewed the footage and due to music and background noise he could not hear any specific obscenities but he read out a definition of the charge of breach of the peace saying it pertained to any abusive, threaten or insulting behaviour in either word or actions, adding that he would affirm the district court order and impose the conviction.
He asked the defendant if he wished to appeal the severity of the €300 fine imposed. The defendant said he did not as he would not be paying the fine.