A NORTH Kerrry man who is alleged to have approached an off-duty garda at a petrol station and threatened to burn him has been denied bail after senior gardai said they feared he would target members of the gardai if released.
Michael Andrew Beasley of 35 Bruach na Gaile, Moyvane, argued at Listowel District Court that he was the victim of garda intimidation - but refused to answer any questions about the alleged incident at the petrol station on July 4 last.
Superintendent William Leahy objected to bail given the 'nature and gravity of the offence' during which Mr Beasley is alleged to have threatened to stick a petrol pump nozel into Garda Alan Crowley and burn him. He said the State was taking the alleged threat very seriously, as it occurred just a day after he was released on bail from Listowel District Court having been charged with criminal damage to Listowel Garda Station and criminal damage to Garda Mary McGinty's car at her private residence.
"It is my view that if Mr Beasley is granted bail he will commit further serious offences and will target members of An Garda Siochana," Supt Leahy told the court. "This offence at the Esso filling station happened 24 hours after he was released on bail. The Sate is taking that threat seriously."
Taking the stand, Mr Beasley said he had no issue with the gardai in general, but claimed he was being intimidated by some members of the force in Listowel.
"I have respect for the gardaí but there are bad apples in every bunch," he said. "If I feel I'm right, I'll stand up for what I believe in."
When asked, however, whether it was Garda Crowley who approached him at the petrol station, or vice versa, he said he did not wish to comment.
Citing the seriousness of the charges (threatening to kill, assault and engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour ) and the that the alleged offences occurred while on bail, Judge Mary Larkin refused Mr Beasley's application for bail. However, she urged the State to give Mr Beasley's case immediate attention as the father of one was being denied his liberty. The case was adjourned until July 23.