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Being rude to a garda 'not a crime'

A MOTORIST who had been accused of hurling abuse at a garda when stopped for entering a bus lane has been found not guilty after a judge ruled it was not a crime to be "rude" to members of the force.

Gavin McVeigh (28) was cleared of a charge of using threatening, abusive and insulting words or behaviour.

The prosecuting garda had said McVeigh shouted "scumbag" out of his car window at him in the city centre incident.

McVeigh, of Mellowes Road, Finglas, insisted he only said "for f**k sake" after the garda stopped him. Judge Catherine Murphy said that whatever was said, it could not have led to a breach of the peace.

Garda Ross Mannix told Dublin District Court he was in Clanbrassil Street on July 31 last year when he saw the accused drive into a bus lane.

After he spoke to him, he said, the accused "took off" at speed and shouted "scumbag", which he could hear as the car window was open.

"There were people going about their business and he shouted 'scumbag' and I took exception to that," Garda Mannix said.

The accused's lawyer said Mr McVeigh had his partner's 10-year-old child in the car.

McVeigh said he had just been to St Luke's Hospital where he had been told his mother had two weeks to live. "(The garda) took me out of the car," he said. "I just said 'ah for f**k sake', I didn't say scumbag. I wouldn't use language like that in front of a child."

Judge Catherine Murphy said a High Court ruling had clearly established that rudeness or using abusive language to garda did not constitute a breach of the peace.

She dismissed the charge.