A young Ballybofey man who attacked a stranger’s car with a paling post at an agricultural show and then kicked a Garda in the head has avoided going to jail.
John Callaghan, 23, went berserk at the Finn Valley Show in June, 2016.
He was drinking with friends but suddenly picked up a paling post and smashed it through the back windscreen of a stranger’s car causing €1,500 of damage.
He then scraped the side of the car before trying to attack the driver.
Callaghan then had to be restrained by four friends.
Garda Michael Kilcoyne arrived on the scene and had his glasses smashed and received a kick in the head from Callaghan as a struggle ensued.
Callaghan appeared at Letterkenny District Court yesterday charged with a number of offences arising out of the incident at Kilcadden Crossroads on June 25th, 2016.
A previous sitting of the court was told by Garda Inspector Goretti Sheridan how the attack happened out of the blue.
She said “At 6.30pm, the driver of the Grey Audi had just parked his car beside the marquee, and was proceeding to take his keys out of the ignition when he saw the defendant charging at his car.
“He had a paling post in his hand and smashed the back windscreen of his car, and then proceeded to scrape the sides of the vehicle.
“He then attempted to strike the driver of the vehicle, before he was brought to the ground by a group of males who witnessed the frenzied attack.”
Solicitor for Callaghan, Frank Dorrian, said it appeared that his client had suffered a psychosis.
“There is no reason or catalyst for this and he finds himself here at the end of this conduct.
“His progress through life seems to have been blighted by whatever brought this on,” said Mr Dorrian.
Mr Dorrian said that Callaghan, of Trusk Road, Ballybofey, no longer goes out and has apologised to all people concerned.
Judge Paul Kelly commended Garda Kilcoyne for not making a big deal out of the issue and for “letting bygones be bygones.”
He gave the accused the Probation Act for the Section 4 charge and also struck out the criminal damage and assault charge against Garda Kilcoyne.