Man pleads guilty to ‘traitor’ graffiti on Enda Kenny’s office

Court hears that message scrawled on Castlebar office was ‘politically motivated’

A 30-year-old man was "politically motivated" when he scrawled a message to Taoiseach Enda Kenny on the wall of the latter's constituency office in Castlebar, Co Mayo, a court heard.

The graffiti posted by Liam Heffernan, with an address at Kilnageer, Belcarra, Castlebar, at about 4.10 am on December 13th, 2014, accused Mr Kenny of being a "traitor" and "a puppet for the privatisation of our country".

Moments earlier, Mr Heffernan, who is unemployed, removed a sign from the building at Tucker Street, Castlebar, advising of office opening hours.

The contents of the message daubed on the wall were outlined in court by Garda John Melia.


The message read in full: “Liam Heffernan took your sign. Go sue me you traitor and you puppet for the privatisation of our country.”

Previous convictions

Mr Heffernan, who has previous convictions for public order offences, threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour, and trespass and violent behaviour, pleaded guilty at Castlebar District Court to criminal damage, failure to comply with the instructions of a garda and being intoxicated at Tucker Street, Castlebar, on the date in question.

Mr Melia said the accused had been highly intoxicated on the occasion and a danger to himself.

The garda said that the sign which had been stolen was recovered later.

Insp Mandy Gaynor told the court it had been possible to clean off the writing from the wall afterwards.

Solicitor Augusta Tuohy, defending, said that Mr Heffernan had been going home from a nightclub after a night out and had had too much to drink.

Ms Tuohy said that Mr Heffernan’s actions had been “politically motivated”.

At one point, Mr Heffernan told Judge Mary Devins he had a degree in film studies.

“Good for you”, the judge responded.

The judge asked for a probation report and adjourned sentencing until May.