A 55-year-old man taunted by neighbouring children on a housing estate fired an air pistol to frighten a 12-year-old boy, a court has heard.
David McCann pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of the gun.
Ballyshannon District Court heard a statement from his 12-year-old neighbour that he was frightened when the gun was fired as he was playing outside with a friend.
Judge Kevin Kilrane was told the nine-inch air pistol was fired into the ground at Lawne Park, Ballyshannon.
Defence solicitor Florence Hutchence told the court that McCann was constantly taunted by children and he fenced off his property to keep them away.
On the day of the offence he was intoxicated when he fired the gun into the ground. He had no intention of hurting anybody and he was very regretful for what happened.
Judge Kilrane said it was "an appalling act" to shoot to frighten children, adding that the lead pellets were only slightly smaller than the .22 pellets in an air-rifle.
He said: "A firearm that is discharged in any manner could cause injury. It could have ricocheted when fired into the ground."
McCann, of Lawne Park, was fined €500, for unlawful possession of the Webley Tempest and ammunition on November 1st last.