Judge slams man who shouted and roared abuse in A&E

January 9, 2023

A judge has slammed a man who attended Letterkenny University Hospital with a friend and was arrested after refusing to leave the hospital after being loud and abusive.

Gareth McGill attended the Accident and Emergency Department on March 6th last with a friend who had broken his collarbone.

However, both men were drunk and caused a nuisance while awaiting treatment.

Gardai were called at 4.20am and McGill, aged 27, was asked to leave under the Public Order Act.

He refused, continued to road and shout abuse and was eventually arrested by Gardai.

McGill, of Doobalagh, Letterkenny appeared at Letterkenny District Court which heard that a fixed charge penalty notice (FCPN) was issued to McGill but was never paid.

His solicitor, Mr Gordon Curley, said his client was living in Australia and that was why the penalty notice was never paid.

The accused had no previous convictions of any kind and had returned from Australia for Christmas and was planning to return.

Mr Curley added that any conviction could have serious consequences for his client’s plan to return to Australia.

He also pointed out that there was drink involved and also stressed that any shouting or abuse had not been directed at staff but was merely roaring and shouting between the two men.

Garda Sergeant Gerard Dalton said there was no evidence that any staff had been abused by the men on the night.

However, Judge Éiteáin Cunningham said she has spoken “time and time again” about such situations in hospitals with staff under increasing pressure.

She said “People are going there and then engaging in abusing language and disrupting the work of medical staff. I really have strong views in relation to that.”

McGill took to the witness stand and said he was very sorry for the hurt he had caused to staff.

Judge Cunningham ordered McGill to make a donation of €250 to the Donegal Hospice and ordered that this be increased to €350 in default of payment.