Donegal court shown ‘Gardathugs’ YouTube video during drugs case

A video placed on YouTube by two men who objected to a garda search for drugs was played before a judge in court yesterday.

The two men, John Deegan and Sean Fitzgerald, claimed it showed garda intimidation before their arrests in a van at the Market Yard, Ballyshannon.

The video, called Gardathugs on YouTube, was taken by Deegan on his mobile phone while gardai tried to attempt a search for drugs.

It showed Fitzgerald protesting against the gardai and Deegan’s voice was heard accusing the gardai of intimidating him.

But Judge Kevin Kilrane said at Ballyshannon District Court that from his look at the video the two defendants were the intimidators and not the gardai.

He said both defendants were extremely difficult and truculent and the gardai showed great restraint.

The court heard the two men and the van were eventually taken to Ballyshannon Garda station where a search was conducted and no drugs were found last July 18.

Deegan 40, of Drumacrin Avenue, Bundoran, and Fitzgerald, 36, of Dalgan Rd, Navan, Co, Meath, pleaded not guilty to obstruction of gardai and refusing a drugs search. But Judge Kilrane found them guilty and remanded them in custody for a week to Sligo District Court next Friday.

Separately, Deegan was also convicted of possession of cannabis at his Drumacrin Avenue home and in his van at West End, Bundoran, last June 13 and was fined €200.