A CORK pensioner was accused today of verbally abusing his brother-in-law at a Tesco store in Cork by calling him a murdering bastard and urging him to go back to Tipperary.
John O’Brien, aged 72, of 12 Ferney Close, Mahon, denied the charge of engaging in threatening, insulting, or abusive words or behaviour on February 8, 2018, at Tesco, Wilton shopping centre, at the self-scan checkout.
Mr O’Brien’s brother-in-law Joe O’Dwyer alleged that the defendant approached him and asked: “Are you going down to get your tablets, you f***ing murderer?”
Mr O’Dwyer further alleged that Mr O’Brien said to him moments later: “Will you ever go back to Tipperary, you murdering bastard.”
Judge Olann Kelleher said he could not decide beyond reasonable doubt and he dismissed the charge against Mr O’Brien on the public order charge.
The judge said he would bind the 72-year-old to the peace for one year.
Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said: “There is some animus between the parties.”
Mr Buttimer cross-examined Mr O’Dwyer during the case at Cork District Court, and asked the complainant what could conceivably have been meant by asking: “Are you going up to get your tablets, you f***ing murderer?” Mr O’Dwyer replied: “That I was on tablets.”
Mr Buttimer asked if it referred to anything else and Mr O’Dwyer replied: “I have a murder conviction 40 years ago. That is nothing to hide.” Mr Buttimer said: “I am sorry to hear about it. It is your own business.”
Mr O’Dwyer said: “It doesn’t appear to be my own business as far as John O’Brien is concerned.”
Colm Walsh, who works at Tesco in Wilton, testified today: “I told both parties to leave and said Tesco was not the best place to air their views.”
Mr O’Brien said he wanted to talk to Mr O’Dwyer for allegedly “effing and blinding out the window of his car” at a woman in Mr O’Brien’s family on her way to work. This was denied by Mr O’Dwyer.
Mr O’Brien said he did not say anything about murder or anything like that and he added that it was not the first time his brother-in-law had made such an accusation.
“I only approached him for a chat. I would say I was a bit naïve. I thought it would be a conversation.”
Mr O’Dwyer told Garda Aisling Murphy who investigated the case: “I have a problem with him for years.”