Donegal man Joseph McElwee, 38, was outside a pub when he called an on-duty garda a “Mayo wanker” and told him to “fuck off home to Mayo”. Garda Nicholas Freyne told the court the abuse continued for 10 minutes.
McElwee was charged at Milford District Courtwith threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour, intoxication, disorderly conduct, wilful obstruction and failing to comply with the direction of a garda.
Judge Seamus Hughes told McElwee he was to do the four stations of the famous Mayo pilgrimage as a mark of respect for his fellow Irish people, especially those in the line of duty.
Judge Hughes heard how the defendant was part of a group of three who approached two members of the gardaí outside a pub in Rathmullan and began verbally abusing them on March 28, 2010.
Solicitor Kieran O’Gorman said his client was a 38-year-old unemployed joiner and father-of-two who had never been in bother before and had no previous history of behaviour of this nature.
Judge Hughes, who is a Mayo native himself, asked the defendant whether he had ever been to Co Mayo and climbed Croagh Patrick.
“I want you to come back in a month’s time with evidence that you did the four stations of Croagh Patrick and say a few prayers. You then might have a different impression of Co Mayo and its people.”
Judge Hughes said he was very serious about the issue.
Mr O’Gorman asked the judge how his client would be able to prove that he climbed Croagh Patrick.
Judge Hughes replied that he will have questions prepared: “You’d better have the answers, and I will know whether you are telling the truth or not.”