A Castlebar resident charged with possession of stolen property, threatening and abusive behaviour, being intoxicated in a public place and possession of knives and drugs has vehemently denied all the charges.
Gordan McBrearty (37) of 2 Gallows Hill, Castlebar, appeared before Castlebar District Court last week, where he contested all 12 charges.
Garda John Melia told the court that at 2.55am on December 31, 2011, he received a complaint from two women at the TF Hotel that their purses had been stolen and they accused McBrearty of the theft. Garda Melia said that McBrearty made it difficult to be searched but that he discovered the two purses inside his suit jacket.
McBrearty told the court that a woman he was drinking with on the night asked him to mind a purse and must have put two purses into his jacket. He said this woman had lied to him about her name and she then accused him of stealing the purses. He said he would ‘like to apologise’ to the two women who had their purses stolen but denied he stole them. The charge before the court was possession of stolen property, and not theft.
Garda Melia also arrested McBrearty for being intoxicated and for possession of cannabis. When he was released from the Garda Station shortly after, he urinated against a pillar immediately outside the door of the station. McBrearty claimed gardaí refused to let him go to the toilet in the station, which they denied.
When he was arrested at his house on January 29, 2012, for possession of stolen property, Garda Melia also found cannabis there. However both cannabis charges were dropped, as the garda who sent those samples to Dublin was not in court to give evidence.
Garda Ciarán Brett gave evidence to the court of charges against McBrearty of criminal damage, threatening and abusive behaviour and being intoxicated on November 16 last at 2.20am outside the Welcome Inn Hotel in Castlebar.
Garda Brett said he responded to a call from the staff of the Welcome Inn, who had reported that a man was causing a disturbance. Garda Brett saw McBrearty kicking at the door, causing the glass to crack; he then urinated against the door. He was not prosecuted for urinating in a public place in either case, as it is only an offence to urinate in public in this country if it happens in Dublin.
Garda Brett said McBrearty was roaring at staff ‘I am in the IRA and I own the Republican footpath’ and ‘I’ll get four lads down from Derry to bomb this place’.
He said he then placed a ‘highly intoxicated and aggressive’ McBrearty under arrest, and that McBrearty said ‘I’ll piss when I f***ing want to’.
Garda Brett said McBrearty continued to be aggressive and said: “See when I get to Judge Devins with this sh*t I’ll get off. I’d love to meet ye in court ye mother f***ers. I work for the Department of Justice and I will get away with this. She will believe me and not ye, ye f***ing pricks. Ye f***ing alps.”
Defending solicitor James Ward said that any such threats could not be taken seriously, adding that claims of being in the IRA and working for the Department of Justice were mutually exclusive roles.
“They weren’t always,” said Judge Mary Devins.
Gordan McBrearty said he had ‘grave concerns’ over what Garda Brett had reported him as saying, and said he needed time to ‘absorb’ what he said he was being accused of. He said there was a misunderstanding over an incident in the Welcome Inn and he had subsequently sorted out matters with management there.
Michael Moran, proprietor of Rocky’s Bar in Castlebar, said that on the night of January 1 this year, he was walking McBrearty out of the pub as he was causing a disturbance, and that he wrestled him to the ground when a customer said McBrearty had a knife in his possession. When gardaí arrived, they discovered two knives on McBrearty’s person.
James Ward questioned why statements from Mr Moran and two gardaí had said that McBrearty pulled a knife on Mr Moran. Arresting garda, Garda Kevin Carey said this was an ‘error’ by him.
McBrearty said he was ‘asking a few girls out to dance’ when he was told to leave Rocky’s. The court heard he had the knives on his person, as he uses them for hiking and hill walking and had been fire juggling in another pub in the town earlier that night.
Judge Mary Devins said she needed time to consider the matters and adjourned the matter to April 17 for her decision.