‘Gardathug’ YouTube video pair given suspended jail sentences

Two men who videoed an attempted Garda search of them on a mobile phone were given suspended jail sentences today.

John Deegan and Sean Fitzgerald had put the video on YouTube, called it Gardathugs, and claimed it showed harassment and intimidation by gardai at the Market Yard, Ballyshannon.

It was viewed by Judge Kevin Kilrane in court.

Judge Kilrane, who had convicted the two and remanded them in custody for a week, said in Sligo District Court today that the video proved the harassment and intimidation was done by the defendants and not the gardai.

He said the gardai were rightfully attempting to conduct a search of the men and a van they were in on suspicion that one of them had drugs although no drugs were found.

He said both men represented themselves at an earlier hearing in Ballyshannon District Court and made serious allegations of garda harassment and intimidation.

When he found the allegations were unfounded and that instead the men were the intimidators he remanded them to consider what prison sentence to impose.

The judge said both men had now placed before him letters of apology which were impressive. Testimonials which accompanied 40-year-old Deegan’s were “quite impressive.”.

Deegan, of Drumacrin Avenue, Bundoran, and Fitzgerald, of Dalgan Rd, Navan, Co, Meath, were convicted of obstructing gardai last July 18 at Ballyshannon market yard and refusing a drugs search.

Each received a one-month prison sentence suspended for two years.