A BUS driver who had an “irate row” with a garda sergeant as he was dropping off elderly Munster supporters at Thomond Park was fined €500 for public order offences.
John McGrath, aged 36, who has an address in Ballinteer, Dublin 16 was prosecuted following an incident outside the stadium shortly before midday on April 5, 2014.
During a contested hearing, Sgt Morgan O’Donoghue said he was on duty ahead of Munster’s Heineken Cup quarter-final against Toulouse when he observed a minibus pull in at a bus stop.
He said the area was congested at the time, there were a lot of people around and that he went to speak with the driver.
Judge Mary Larkin was told that after he asked Mr McGrath to produce his driving licence and details of his insurance, he began to verbally abuse him.
“He became very irate and said I was a disgrace to the uniform,” said Sgt O’Donoghue who added that when he returned to his position, McGrath ran “straight across the road” and shouted at him in a “loud and boisterous manner”.
While accepting that he had lost his temper, Mr McGrath denied he had run across the road and shouted at the sergeant.
He said he had tried to explain that one of his passengers had mobility issues and that he took exception to a comment he claimed Sgt O’Donoghue made to him.
“There was an irate interaction between us, I became quite angry,” he said insisting he had not threatened Sgt O’Donoghue in any way.
The defendant agreed with Sgt Donal Cronin that while he did produce his driving licence, he did not produce his insurance certificate within ten days as requested.
Solicitor Darach McCarthy said his client had lost his job as a result of the prosecution and that he is currently unemployed.
Convicting the defendant, Judge Larkin said she accepted the evidence of Sgt O’Donoghue saying that Mr McGrath had engaged in a form of road rage.