Saturday 19 August 2017

Former Munster player resisted arrest after cursing at gardai in drink-fuelled incident

Tim McGann in possession during an inter-provincial derby with Ulster
Tim McGann in possession during an inter-provincial derby with Ulster

Andrew Phelan

A FORMER Munster rugby player resisted arrest after shouting “expletives” at gardai in a drink-fuelled episode in Dublin city centre.

Tim McGann (35) had taken off without paying a taxi fare when he became threatening and abusive towards gardai, obstructing one female officer who tried to arrest him.

Judge Michael Walsh struck the case out, leaving him without a criminal record after he paid €500 to charity, as well as another €20 to cover the unpaid cab fare.

McGann, from Clifton Road, Clove Valley, Sydney, Australia, pleaded guilty to non-payment of a taxi fare, breach of the peace and obstructing Garda Zara Johnston.

A garda sergeant told Dublin District Court the incident happened at 3.10am this morning, July 5.

While on uniformed patrol, gardai responded to a report that a man had taken off from a taxi without paying at St Stephen’s Green South.

When gardai arrived and identified themselves to the accused, McGann started shouting expletives at them and resisted arrest.

The total cost of the taxi fare had been €19.20. McGann had no previous convictions.

The accused was from Australia, had come over here for a wedding and was due to return on Monday, his solicitor Michael French said.

He had been out at Copperface Jack’s and got a taxi afterward but refused to pay the fare. McGann had had “far too much alcohol” and responded the way he did to the gardai, Mr French said.

He had played professional rugby for Munster for a number of years, and had a two year old child Mr French continued.

“He is acutely aware of the ramifications of convictions of this nature,” he said. “The whole thing has served as an eye opener for him.”

The court heard McGann had spent the night and morning in custody.

The accused was a “big boy now,” Judge Walsh said, and noted the accused’s obstructive actions towards Garda Johnston when followed to Leeson Street.

“I don’t think that reflects well on the type of individual we are dealing with,” the judge said.

The judge let the case stand in the morning’s court list to verify that the €500 could be paid.

When it resumed, Mr French said the money was available. Judge Walsh said €20 was to be paid to the taxi driver, Masoud Firoozy, with the rest to be donated to the Capuchin Day Centre for the “impoverished people of this city.”

The judge said he was taking account of the defendant’s early gulity plea and the fact that he did not “waste any court time.”

McGann, wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans and brown shoes, did not address the court.

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