A YOUNG man who hurled abuse at a garda for arresting his friend, calling the officer a “thick bogger” has been ordered to carry out community service to avoid prison.
Keith Clarke (22) and his friend had been drinking and sampling food at a market in Dublin before the incident that ended in both of them being taken into custody.
Clarke was so drunk that gardai feared for his safety as he staggered near the waterfront in Howth, Dublin District Court heard.
Judge Victor Blake found him guilty of public order offences, fined him €290 and told him to complete 140 hours' community service instead of a two-month prison sentence.
His friend, Lloyd Clarke (23) was also found guilty and had his case adjourned for another judge to consider whether to activate a suspended sentence he had been on at the time.
Keith Clarke, of Kilbarron Road, Coolock, and Lloyd Clarke, from St Donagh's Road, Kilbarrack, had denied public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and breach of the peace on July 28 last.
Garda Martin Mannion said he was on patrol at Main Street, Howth, at 12.45pm when he saw the accused and a third man who was lying on the ground.
They were highly intoxicated and Garda Mannion asked them to leave the area.
Lloyd Clarke became aggressive and had to be arrested, while his co-accused called the garda a “thick bogger”, questioning the officer's authority to make the arrest and telling him to let his friend go.
He shouted abuse at Garda Mannion for 10 minutes before assistance arrived.
Garda Paul Neville said Keith Clarke was in a highly intoxicated state on the pier in close proximity to the water.
“I felt he was a danger to himself because there was a possibility he could have fallen into the water”, Garda Neville said.
In evidence, Keith Clarke denied standing near the water or being intoxicated, saying he had four drinks on the day, had “a level head” and had been going around “tasting food that people were handing out”.
He then went to buy rolls and his friend was being arrested when he came out. He insisted that he only asked the garda why this was happening