A professional gambler from Leitrim who head-butted a garda attempting to protect him has been given a partly suspended sentence.
Daniel Tighe (aged 23) was being processed at Dublin’s Kevin Street Garda Station in the early hours of the morning after Arthurs’ Day 2013 when a prisoner ahead of him became violent.
Garda Brian Gillan placed himself between Tighe and the violent prisoner as he was being removed past them to a cell. Tighe then head-butted Gda Gillan, who fell back against a wall.
The garda suffered facial injuries and a fracture to his hand. Gda Gillan, who was off duty for five months, has made a full recovery but can no longer pursue his hobby of deep-sea diving.
Tighe, of Corderry Peyton, Kilnagross, Keshcarrigan, Co Leitrim, pleaded guilty to assaulting Gda Gillan causing him harm in the early hours of September 27, 2013.
He has three previous convictions arising from an incident involving police officers in London.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court said Tighe was in the garda station as a result of earlier events which appeared to be of a public order nature.
She said that instead of being appreciative of the efforts the garda had taken to protect him, he had headbutted Gda Gillan who had been doing his duty.
Judge Ring imposed a two and a half year sentence backdated to when Tighe went into custody in July and she suspended the balance from today.
She ordered he co-operate with The Probation Service and pay over €5,000 to Gda Gillan.
The court heard that Tighe rarely resides at his family home in Ireland but spends most of his time travelling on the gambling circuit which includes cities such as London, Madrid, Paris, and Vienna.
Garda Mark Dennehy told Fergal Foley BL, prosecuting, that there had been absolutely no warning prior to the assault. He said there had been no remorse or apology.
Gda Dennehy agreed with Lorcan Staines BL, defending, he had encountered Tighe that night before he was brought to the garda station and that Tighe had been extremely intoxicated and had been refused entry to a premises.
He agreed the incident in London had occurred on St Patricks Day 2013 and that on that occasion Tighe had also consumed a large amount of alcohol and police were called after he was refused entry to an establishment.
Tighe took to the stand and told Judge Ring that the last six weeks in Cloverhill had taught him a lot and he was ready to change.
“Obviously drink does not suit me,” he said, “it changes who I am.”
“I am absolutely ashamed of myself.”
Tighe said he would like Gda Gillan to know he was extremely sorry and that it was not like him to be like that.
“I am genuinely sorry,” Tighe restated after sentence was imposed.