Dundalk District Court

Dundalk man who struck gardai tells court he didn’t realise they were behind him

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Court Reporter

Dundalk man who struck gardai tells court he didn’t realise they were behind him

Dundalk courthouse

A 44 year old man who struck two gardai in the face when they responded to a report of an assault, has told Dundalk district court he had contested the case initially, as he didn't realise the gardaí were behind him.

Derek Finnegan with an address at Clós Brid, Saltown, Dundalk was prosecuted for assault arising out of the incident at Castleross, Dundalk on November 17th 2018.

The court heard the defendant was being spoken to outside the property and ran back into the house and as he was being dealt with by gardai, became violent - striking both officers in the face and pepper spray was used. Mr. Finnegan had 29 previous convictions.

The defence solicitor said he was instructed that his client had apologised on his release from custody, and he was ashamed of his actions. 

He explained the defendant wasn't aware he was being arrested and had perceived himself to be the injured party from the initial incident and the gardai were there to assist him, but coupled with alcohol he made a poor decision.

After Judge Eirinn McKiernan imposed a four month sentence, Mr Finnegan asked to address the court and while acknowledging that he knew what he'd done was wrong, his back was turned as he turned to ‘gallop’ upstairs to get his cigarettes and the next thing he knew the guards were on top of him dragging him down.

Judge McKiernan - who noted he had a previous conviction for a similar offence, and he had pleaded guilty on the day the case was listed for a contested hearing, fixed recognizance in the event of an appeal on his own bond of €300, an independent surety of €300 or cash in lieu.