Friday 26 December 2014

Former GAA star who pushed garda and swore at another banned from driving for four years

Gregory Harkin

Published 30/04/2014 | 10:12

Gardai
The court heard that Ryan resisted arrest and had to be handcuffed.

A former Donegal GAA star who pushed one garda and swore at another has been banned from driving for four years.

Tommy Ryan, 47, of Termon, Kilmacrennan was stopped by Gardaí at Termon Church on September 17, last.

He became abusive to officers and pushed Garda Patrick Geraghty in the chest causing him to step back to regain his balance.

Garda Geraghty told the court that Ryan resisted arrest and had to be handcuffed.

The Garda told Letterkenny District Court: “I asked the driver to do a roadside breath test and he then stated that I knew him. I said I did not. He again said I knew him and said he was Tommy Ryan, the footballer.

“He then stated ‘have you nothing better to be doing than catching me for nothing.’

The court also heard that Ryan shouted at Garda Charlene Anderson: “F*** off you, it’s got nothing to do with you.”

Garda Anderson later had to threaten Ryan with pepper spray in order for him to sit in the back seat of the patrol car.

On the way to Letterkenny Garda Station Ryan made numerous comments about being a footballer adding “we should let him away with it” and “that we’d caught “the big one.”

Ryan told gardaí to “go to the super’s office and get their pick of promotions” and then made reference to gardaí being out drinking.

At Letterkenny Garda Station Ryan was introduced to Garda Conor Molloy, the officer in charge. Ryan said that he would do nothing until he got in contact with his solicitor and refused to sign the custody record.

He was led to the intoxiliser room at 2.04am where during his first attempt he blew too hard and the next two samples were too short. The court heard that he had chest problems.

Barrister, Frank Martin said that Ryan apologised for his behaviour to gardaí. He also told the court that Ryan had volunteered to give a blood or urine sample which was confirmed by Garda Conor Molloy.

Mr Martin said that Ryan had difficulty breathing into the machine.

Inspector Goretti Sheridan said that the defence would have had to prove that the accused had medical records.

Judge Paul Kelly disqualified Ryan for four years from July 31 and fined him €400 for failing to provide a breath sample.

Judge Kelly said that Ryan’s behaviour did him no credit at all. He added that gardaí have a difficult job to do and that should Ryan have taken the test he may well have brought himself into the alcohol limit.

Judge Kelly added that if Ryan donated €350 to the Leaf Project in Raphoe he would strike out charges of using threatening or abusive behaviour.

Ryan’s wife Eileen was also before the court charged with intoxication and threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour to which she pleaded guilty.

She was also given the opportunity of donating €250 to the Leaf Project in Raphoe.

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