A man from Crossbarry, Co Cork who set his dogs on gardaí as he blocked their patrol car from getting out of his yard by shutting the gate and lying down behind the vehicle was jailed for six months yesterday.
Judge Brian O’Callaghan said at Cork Circuit Criminal Court: “This man was shouting and roaring, refusing to give his name. He locked his gate and lay down on the road behind their car. He set the two dogs on them.
“They had to call for assistance from colleagues. They are experienced guards, but they were quite genuinely fearful.”
The judge said it was some comfort to the court to know that the two German shepherd dogs were no longer in the care of the accused man.
Frank McCarthy, aged 45, of Ballyhandle, Crossbarry, Co Cork, pleaded guilty to obstructing two members of An Garda Síochána, namely Garda Darren Cahalane and Garda Matthew Galvin on November 23, 2017.
Sergeant Tom Lehane testified that the officers stopped McCarthy driving his Ford Mondeo that day but he drove off towards his residenc.
“He proceeded to shout and roar at gardaí,” the sergeant said. “He then lay down on the ground behind the patrol car so that the car could not reverse. He closed the gate across the exit.”
McCarthy had two dogs that acted aggressively at the scene, Sgt Lehane said.
The two gardaí had to seek assistance. Six members of the Armed Support Unit arrived. Incapacitant spray and taser had to be deployed before McCarthy could be arrested. He continued to cause difficulties for gardaí after his arrest.
Defence barrister Donal O’Sullivan said that the accused was affected cognitively on the occasion in 2017 as a result of a head injury he sustained a month previously.
“He acknowledges his behaviour was appalling and he cannot understand why he behaved in that way. He expressed remorse,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
Judge O’Callaghan said the defendant had used powerful dogs as “quasi-weapons”, which would have been frightening for the gardaí.