Man told garda ‘take the money, I have plenty’

A man approached by gardaí after he had kicked the wing mirror of a car produced a €50 note and threw it at them, saying: “Take the money, I have plenty of it, you look like you need it.”

Following his arrest in the early hours of May 6 last, Ronan Butler of Drombane in Limerick was taken to a Garda station, where he again produced money and said: “This is going nowhere — my grandfather was chief super [Supt] in Henry St.”

Butler, aged 22, appeared before Bandon District Court facing three charges in relation to the same night at the Kinsale Rugby Sevens tournament last year.

Sgt Paul Kelly, prosecuting, said gardaí observed Mr Butler kicking a wing mirror of a white Range Rover on Main St in the town at 1am, causing him to fall over “on his backside”.

It was when gardaí then approached him that Butler, a recent graduate from Limerick Institute of Technology, produced the €50 and made his remarks.

Judge James McNulty heard he then refused to be handcuffed and had to be restrained. 

It was when he arrived at the Garda station that he made the second comment, referring to his grandfather and Henry St in Limerick.

Judge McNulty read a letter of apology written by Butler in which he outlined how he had made a €100 donation to the Irish Kidney Association in memory of an uncle who had recently passed away.

His solicitor Plunkett Taaffe said his client had just finished college and had been celebrating and had “drank to considerable excess”, resulting in him behaving “in an appalling fashion” and causing embarrassment to himself and others in his family. 

The court heard two of his uncles are serving gardaí.

Mr Taaffe said Butler, who now works with a hedge fund, had no recollection of the events. 

The court heard he had failed to appear at a previous court sitting, resulting in the issuing of a bench warrant.

Mr Taaffe said his client had paid his own way through college and that it was a first offence.

“It’s a serious first offence,” the judge said, adding that Butler’s “insulting, offensive and denigrating” behaviour towards police officers doing their duty was “really quite appalling”.

He convicted him and fined him €1,000 for the offence, adding that he was taking the other charges of being intoxicated in a public place and his previous failure to appear in court into consideration.

Mr Taaffe argued that the reason his client had not attended the earlier court hearing was as he had broken his leg and asked that the judge not convict, stating: “He is a man on the cusp of life.”

He added that his client had engaged in “drunken, stupid, irrational behaviour” but that it was all due to drink.

The court also heard Mr Butler had come to Garda attention since the incident in Kinsale, and Judge McNulty said the conviction would stand, but fixed recognisance for any appeal at €1,000, all cash.

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