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Gardai were locked into bar after arresting publican

GARDAI found themselves locked inside a pub after they tried to arrest a publican who told them they should be out investigating serious crime.

Sligo District Court heard yesterday gardai arrested Labour Party councillor Jimmy McGarry -- co-owner of Mooney's pub in Maugheraboy, Sligo -- but could not leave the premises because the door was locked and the accused told his daughter not to open it.

Det Gda Cathal Duffy told Judge Kevin Kilrane he arrested McGarry, a former Mayor of Sligo, after the publican called him a "f***ing b*****d".

He said McGarry was aggressive and threatening and asked him why he was not worrying about serious crime in Sligo.

Gda Thomas O'Griofa said McGarry called him a "prick" and told him he obviously liked a few pints himself, judging by the size of his belly.

The judge was told gardai found 10 to 12 people on the premises at about 12.50am on March 10, 2008. Closing time was 11pm. They found fresh pints of Guinness and other drinks, and a DJ playing music.

Det Gda Duffy said McGarry's daughter Aideen, who was in charge of the premises on the night, was very co-operative but got visibly upset when they tried to arrest her father.

Gardai said McGarry's wife, Louise, tried to hold on to him when he was arrested.

Gda O'Griofa tried unsuccessfully to force the door open, shouldering it a number of times, but then Aideen McGarry opened it. McGarry wriggled so much to avoid arrest that his jacket came off and he almost lost his shirt.

Jimmy McGarry insisted that he did not use the terms "a f***ing bastard" or "prick".

He said he became concerned when gardai spent nine minutes interviewing his daughter and a niece in the snug.


He told his daughter not to open the door because he feared what would happen if he was taken outside, he told the court.

He later apologised to Gda O'Griofa for the comment about his belly.

Judge Kilrane dismissed a charge of resisting a garda in the execution of his duties, saying he did not believe there had been criminal intent, as he did not believe the accused knew why he was being arrested.

He applied the Probation Act on a public order charge and fined him €200 for selling liquor without a current licence.

Irish Independent