Official threatened with shovel and told ‘you better have 24 hour protection’

A 29 year old man who was the subject of two bench warrants, tried to escape out a back window when gardaí arrived at his home to arrest him, Dundalk district court heard last week.

A 29 year old man who was the subject of two bench warrants, tried to escape out a back window when gardaí arrived at his home to arrest him, Dundalk district court heard last week.

Michael Kearney from Cullenstown, Readypenny, who had changed his name by deed poll from Mark Finnegan, told the court last Wednesday that he did not realise it was the guards who were forcing entry to the house.

The garda who gave evidence of executing the bench warrant, told the court he was objecting to bail as he said the accused had tried to leave the scene through a back window after they had to force entry to his home on the morning of the court.

One of the warrants related to a civil matter and the other from Balbriggan district court was road traffic related.

The defence solicitor said her client had a separate matter before the court that day and she had had a consultation with him about that case the day before.

When Judge Flann Brennan asked him why he had run, the accused said he did not know it was the guards adding “I couldn’t see anybody”.

In relation to the case which had been listed for hearing, the court was told Department of Agriculture officials had called to the family farm on March 21st 2012 in relation to untagged cattle. The accused threatened one with a shovel and told him to get off the land. Insp. Martin Beggy said the final threat was that they better have 24 hour protection.

The court heard the defendant had a number of previous convictions for cruelty to animals and permitting carcasses to remain unburied.

The Defence solicitor said the events took place two years ago and her client has given an undertaking not to farm animals again and does not have a herd number. She added that he hasn’t come to garda attention in the last twelve months and has been attending for psychiatric treatment.

Judge Brennan imposed a four month suspended sentence for obstructing an authorised officer. He granted bail and adjourned the civil matter to Dundalk district court next Tuesday and the other case to Balbriggan on September 11th, but warned the accused that if he failed to turn up then he’d be committing an offence and the sentence would be brought down on him.