A MAN who assaulted a nightclub doorman and called Gardaí ‘black and tans’ has avoided a prison sentence.
Martin Gildea (36) of Correnagh, Letterkenny was before Letterkenny District Court on charges relating to separate incidents on dates between December 2018 and May 2020.
On December 19, 2018, Gildea was refused service at the Cottage bar in Letterkenny and Gardaí were called.
Sergeant Jim Collins told the court that Gildea was arguing with a barman when officers arrived.
Gildea was said to be highly intoxicated and became abusive, shouting ‘fucking arrest me’, ‘black and tans, you are all the same’ and ‘arrest one of your own’ to Gardaí.
On January 25, 2020, Gildea entered Costcutter shop at Main Street, Glenties in a highly intoxicated manner and was refused service by the manager. Within minutes, Gildea returned and demanded service. After he was refused, Gildea became abusive and attempted to hit the manager. Gildea had to be restrained by other patrons in the shop until the arrival of Gardai.
On March 2, 2020, Gildea was arrested after becoming abusive to Gardai and members of the public at Voodoo. Gildea became aggressive and abusive after the arrival of Gardaí.
Gildea was also charged in relation to an incident at Voodoo nightclub, Letterkenny, on March 7, 2020. CCTV showed Gildea striking security man Dominic Maguire with his left fist before he was restrained. A victim impact statement and a medical report were handed in to the court.
Gardai observed Gildea stumbling at Lower Main Street, Letterkenny on May 20, 2020. Gildea began shouting at the driver of a van before leaning inside the window, continuing to shout and swinging punches. As the van drove off, Gildea punched the side of the vehicle.
Gildea, who has a number of previous convictions for public order offences. tendered guilty pleas in respect of all the charges.
Defence solicitor Mr Seamus Gunn said Gildea had been under the care of psychiatric services since he was 18 and his parents were ‘gravely worried about the future’.
“He lost a brother a number of years ago in very tragic circumstances and this weighed heavily,” Mr Gunn said. “He has a tendency to discard his medication and he takes to alcohol. He is then his own worst enemy.
“There is no excuse and he is very contrite.”
Judge Paul Kelly pointed out that Gildea had ‘effectively said the security guard ran onto his fist’ and Mr Gunn said his client was now accepting full responsibility.
Mr Gunn said: “He was not in proper control of his actions on the night. He was under the influence. He has shown a level of engagement with the probation service since October and that shows a willingness, even at this late stage, to take responsibility and address matters. His father has accompanied him to court and he now appreciates the seriousness of the situation.”
Mr Gunn asked for a six-month adjournment ‘to see if he continues on the progressive path to recovery’.
“He is aware that it isn’t up to the court to keep him right and he is running completely out of road,” Mr Gunn said.
Judge Kelly said Gildea had previously had ‘all sorts of assistance from the court and the probation service’.
He said:” The bottom line is that he gets drunk and other people get hurt. Lots of people suffer bereavement and I have every sympathy, but that doesn’t give him a licence to carry on like that.”
For the assault on Mr Maguire at Voodoo, Gildea was sentenced to four months imprisonment, with the entire term suspended for 12 months.
For the incident when he attacked the driver of the van, Gildea was given a two-month prison term, with the term also suspended for 12 months.
Judge Kelly directed that, for the incident at Costcutter in Glenties, Gildea enter into a 12-month probation bond, on his own bond of €250.
The other charges were marked taken into consideration by Judge Kelly.