Thursday 15 November 2018

Sinn Féin TD escapes party penalty for swearing at garda

Abusive: Pat Buckley at Midelton Court during an earlier appearance. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Abusive: Pat Buckley at Midelton Court during an earlier appearance. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A Sinn Féin TD will not face any party sanction after avoiding a conviction for engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour while drunk to a garda after a noise complaint about a party at his house.

Cork East TD Pat Buckley (49) had the Probation Act applied as he publicly apologised for his behaviour to gardaí when they called to his home last year after receiving a public complaint about a party at his Midleton home. Mr Buckley did not attend Midleton District Court yesterday as he was attending an event in Dublin.

He was represented by his solicitor, Henry McCourt.

Sinn Féin said the issue was a personal matter which was fully resolved by the court and dealt with by Mr Buckley.

Sinn Féin confirmed Mr Buckley will not face any party sanction.

Judge Brian Sheridan applied Section 1.1 of the Probation Act after being informed by Mr Buckley's solicitor that his client had not come to Garda attention since the matter first came before the court in May.

This was confirmed by Inspector Tony O'Sullivan.

Mr McCourt said it was indicated that Mr Buckley would be given the benefit of the Probation Act if he did not come to Garda notice again.

Judge Sheridan confirmed the ruling and applied the Probation Act.

"I apologise profusely for any offence caused," Mr Buckley said.

"I apologise to the officers involved and deeply regret my actions on the day."

He also said he was very grateful to the court for the benefit of the Probation Act.

Mr Buckley of Broomfield West, Midleton, Co Cork had pleaded guilty to the two charges brought under the Public Order Act.

Inspector Sullivan told the court the incident arose out of a noise complaint received by gardaí over a party at Mr Buckley's home in August 2017.

When officers called to make him aware of the noise issue, they were abruptly told to "f*** off".

He also called one garda an abusive name.

Regret

Mr Buckley had been celebrating a family event, had consumed a few drinks and now deeply regretted his actions.

"This was a family event, a celebratory affair involving a few drinks in my own home," Mr Buckley said.

"Unfortunately, with alcohol on board, my attitude towards the gardaí, when they arrived at my home, was not what it should have been. I regret what happened."

Four years ago, Mr Buckley was disqualified from driving after being convicted of being over the permitted alcohol limit while driving.

Irish Independent

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