Diver broke rib of elderly man after row over disabled parking space


A Donegal businessman pushed an elderly man and broke his rib during a row over a disabled parking space.

Last May, Augustine O’Driscoll parked his 4x4 vehicle in a disabled parking space on Main Street, Letterkenny to get his wife a cake from a local bakery.

However, when he came back three minutes later he was met by a man who was annoyed at that he had done. Words were exchanged and O’Driscoll pushed the man who fell against a fence.

O’Driscoll appeared at Letterkenny District Court in Co Donegal yesterday where he was charged with assault causing harm and engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour. O’Driscoll, Ballykeerin, Kilmacrennan, Co Donegal, pleaded guilty to all the charges through his solicitor, Cathal Quinn.

Mr Quinn told the court his client was a specialist diver who was often called upon by the Irish Navy and for search-and-rescue missions. He said O’Driscoll had never come before the courts before and was ashamed and embarrassed by what had happened.


Mr Quinn said there had been some provocation by the injured man, Frankie Doherty, who, it was claimed, spat at O’Driscoll during the altercation on May 4th last.

“My client was asked to pick up a particular pastry that his wife is partial to. The bakery is just across the road but when he got there there was an elderly lady in front of him. “Not withstanding that, he was back at his vehicle in three minutes where he was met by this man. The episode lasted only a matter of seconds. He didn’t hit him but pushed him in the chest and unfortunately Mr Doherty fell back and hurt himself.”

Judge Paul Kelly said he got particularly annoyed by people taking up disabled parking spaces. “Disabled people have enough difficulties visited upon them without having to cope with people parking in their spaces.”

He said there were hundreds of parking spaces around Letterkenny which O’Driscoll could have parked in, and Mr Doherty was quite within his rights to remonstrate with him. He ordered the accused to pay Mr Doherty €1,000 and adjourned the case until May 7th.