March 21, 2014

The father of a champion boxer became involved in a row after claims that a man swerved his car at his son while he was out jogging.

Letterkenny court.

Letterkenny court.

The claim was made during the court case of Shane Gallagher, a Ballybofey man charged with a public order offense.

Mr Gallagher, 40, of Kinletter, Ballybofey appeared at a special sitting of Letterkenny District Court following an incident with Martin O’Brien at Navenney Street on May 14th last year.

Mr O’Brien alleged that Gallagher had passed him by in his car but done a u-turn and then confronted him as he sat in his car.

However Mr Gallagher said he was merely trying to sort out claims that Mr O’Brien had swerved his car at his son Michael who is due to box for Ireland in the World Championships shortly.

Mr O’Brien was on his way to hospital along with his partner Victoria Mitchell to have a hernia operation.

He alleged that Mr Gallagher told him to “get the f*** out of the car” and that he feared for his life.

“I told him I was going to the guards and he said to me ‘so you’re one of those kind of boys.”

“I told him to cop himself on and he said he would get me on my own,” claimed Mr O’Brien.

After being discharged from hospital, Mr O’Brien made an official complaint to Gardai.

The court heard there had been an ongoing dispute over the ownership of a house which Mr O’Brien’s late brother, Martin O’Brien himself and Mr Gallagher were involved in renovating.

Mr O’Brien claimed his late brother and Mr Gallagher were friendly but that he was never friendly with him.

He claimed he had been paying a mortgage on the house which he had been renovating.

He claimed that Mr Gallagher and his son Michael had come up to his house and he wanted to fight him but he had refused.

Mr Gallagher gave evidence and said the reason he spoke to Mr O’Brien at the junction on the day in question was to clear up claims that he had swerved towards his son Michael while he was out jogging.

He said his son Michael, a member of Finn Valley Boxing Club, is due to go to the World Championships in April, and he did not want him injured.

He told his son that perhaps Mr O’Brien had swerved to avoid a pothole on the road and wanted to clear it up.

He said he had been friendly with the O’Brien family and had known Martin since he was a young boy.

After reviewing the evidence, Judge Denis McLaughlin said he did not find Mr Gallagher’s evidence credible.

He adjourned the case to see if Mr Gallagher was suitable to do 100 hours community service in lieu of two months in jail.