Council driver banged chest and abused Gardai when stopped

February 14, 2022

A council worker banged his chest and refused to give Gardai his name when stopped at a checkpoint.

Patrick Peoples, aged 51, appeared at Letterkenny District Court charged with a breach of the peace.

Garda Sergeant Vincent Muldoon told the court he stopped a vehicle at Ray, Rathmullan at 5.15pm on November 21st, 2021 as part of a multi-agency check with the Road Safety Authority.

The court was told the accused was driving a lorry belonging to Donegal County Council.

Sgt Muldoon said when stopped by the RSA Inspector, he became very abusive.

He refused to give his name or address and said the inspector had no right to inspect the lorry.

He said he then contacted Mr Peoples’ superior in Donegal County Council.

The Garda said that he requested the driver’s license but he was told that he did not have his license with him.

Sgt Muldoon said that he had the right to arrest Mr Peoples, of Cashel, Fanad, if he did not tell him his address.

When informed he was going to be arrested, Sgt Muldoon said the accused banged on his own chest with his fists and said ‘Come on come on, you’re going to arrest me.’

The Garda said he called for assistance as he said he had no doubt that the accused and his colleague also in the lorry would have resisted arrest.

Mr Peoples was arrested under the Public Order Act and taken to Milford Garda Station.

Solicitor for the accused, Mr Patsy Gallagher asked Sgt Muldoon if he did not realise that this was a council lorry as it was clearly marked along the side of it.

Sgt Muldoon said he did not realise this at first as it approached the checkpoint as it was dark.

Judge Deirdre Gearty asked Mr Gallagher if he would like to plead or set a date for hearing in the case?

Mr Gallagher requested a full hearing date which was arranged for November 17th next.

He said his client is a married man with no previous convictions whatsoever.

Judge Gearty disqualified herself from hearing the case as she had already heard some of the facts in the case.