Drunk flight dispatcher threatened to spit on gardaí

Drunk Flight Dispatcher Threatened To Spit On Gardaí
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Tom Tuite

An airport flight dispatcher, who threatened to spit at gardai after hurling abuse at them on a Dublin street during the latest lockdown, has been spared a conviction and a sentence.

Gerard Burke, 49, of Parklands, Northwood, Santry, Dublin pleaded guilty to being intoxicated to an extent he was a danger to himself and others, and using threatening, insulting and abusive language which could have provoked a breach of the peace.


Two gardaí found Burke intoxicated and acting aggressively outside a restaurant on Camden Street in the city centre's south-side, on March 31st last, Dublin District Court was told.

Judge Michael Walsh heard that Burke shouted abuse at gardaí and also made several threats to spit on them.

Burke was arrested and taken to Pearse Street station to be charged with the two Public Order Act offences. He had a prior conviction for a motoring offence.

Pleading for leniency, his solicitor said Burke went back to the garda station and apologised the following day. He worked as a flight dispatcher at Dublin airport and was “deeply ashamed” of the incident, the court heard.


A further conviction could jeopardise his employment, the defence pleaded.


Judge Walsh was told Burke accepted his actions were appalling and he was deeply remorseful. The court was asked to note that it out of character for Burke who had suffered from alcohol addiction.

He had attended a residential treatment centre until 2020 but found post-treatment support lacking due to the pandemic.

He relapsed and had consumed a heavy amount of alcohol, his solicitor explained.

Judge Walsh noted the guilty plea and the potential consequences of another recorded conviction.

He struck the case out and left with Burke without a conviction after he made a €750 donation to charity.

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