Man fails with appeal on conviction for calling a Garda a 'rat' and a 'shade' in Cork city centre

Man fails with appeal on conviction for calling a Garda a 'rat' and a 'shade' in Cork city centre

Garda O’Keeffe said she approached this man, 24-year-old Liam Walsh and asked him if he was OK. 

A young man denied telling a garda he would have her job, calling her a rat and a shade and to “get the f** out" of her face.

However, he did not succeed in his appeal against conviction and fine for engaging in threatening or abusive words or behaviour.

Garda Linda O’Keeffe and Garda Seán Murphy went to Paul Street, Cork, on April 28, 2019 where there was a report of a man lying on the ground after some incident.

There was nothing to be seen on their arrival but they spoke to witnesses and went to Daunt Square where they observed a man sitting on a piece of street furniture.

Garda O’Keeffe said she approached this man, 24-year-old Liam Walsh and asked him if he was OK. 

“He became abusive and told me to f*** off and spat in the direction of my shoe. 

"I asked a series of questions to which he was completely unresponsive. He told me to f*** off. He said, ‘shade’ and ‘rat’ and ‘get the f*** out of my face, get the f*** away from me’.

“This man was assaulted prior to the arrest. He was assaulted by a juvenile who received a juvenile caution for the offence of assault,” Garda O’Keeffe said.

Brian Leahy barrister for Liam Walsh of Mariano, Curraheen Road, Cork, said at Cork Circuit Appeals Court on behalf of the appellant in relation to evidence of abusive comments, “That did not happen.” 

Garda O’Keefe said, “He told me he would have my job.” 

Garda O’Keefe said that later in the Bridewell garda station, “Mr Walsh’s father alleged that his son was assaulted by myself and Garda Murphy.” 

Mr Leahy referred back to the initial assault on Liam Walsh by the juvenile on Paul Street and CCTV of this. 

“It shows him falling to the ground, getting up and staggering. He seems to show symptoms of concussion. My client remembers very little of the incident. He says he was not abusive,” Mr Leahy said.

Garda Seán Murphy corroborated the evidence of Garda O’Keeffe. Garda Murphy said, “I heard him telling her (Garda O’Keeffe) to f*** off. I told him to calm down. He told me to f*** off… He said, ‘I know the law, you don’t know who my father is’. There was no amicable conversation, he was abusive. During the whole interaction he was just abusive. He said to Garda O’Keeffe, ‘I will have your job’.” 

Liam Walsh also gave evidence in the course of his appeal against the conviction for failing to give his name and being threatening or abusive, for which he was fined €200 and €300 respectively at Cork District Court.

Liam Walsh said that earlier, “I went to Dwyer’s and had a brunch. I went to the Spar (on Paul Street). A guy I don’t know at all approached me. I stepped to the other side of the road entirely to avoid him.

“He gave me one punch. It knocked me out on the spot. I do remember Garda O’Keeffe coming to me. He (Garda Murphy) was parking the car. I don’t know how he heard what she heard at first.

“I do remember coming back to my senses (in the Bridewell).

“I took a substantial blow to the head. This is why I could not be roused. When I did wake in the cell I was looking for a doctor. I had a pain in my shoulder. I was crying with the pain in my shoulder.

“I have always been cooperative with the gardaí.” 

Mr Leahy asked, “Did you use that language to gardaí?” 

He said he did not and added, “I like to be as well-spoken as I can. Even with friends I am well-spoken.” 

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin allowed the appeal on the conviction and fine for failing to give his name. 

However, he affirmed the conviction and €300 fine on the conviction for engaging in threatening or abusive words or behaviour.

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