An “exceptional” hairdresser told a taxi driver “I don’t like black people” in a racist outburst and damaged his cab by running over the hood.
Matthew Feeney (28) cursed and damaged the cab during an alcohol-fueled violent episode on one of his first evenings after the lockdown.
The Dublin District Court heard that he had worked in a large London salon but had returned to Ireland, had to return to live with his parents and “regress”.
Judge Marie Quirke said Feeney’s racist behavior was “reprehensible” but spared him a criminal record after paying â¬ 600 in compensation and writing a letter of apology to the taxi driver.
The judge said he had been “racist in his behavior towards a member of society” and she found it to be “very reprehensible behavior”.
She dismissed the case under the Probation Act, leaving him without a conviction.
Feeney, of Cormac Terrace, Terenure, Dublin, pleaded guilty to criminal damages, as well as public intoxication, threatening, abusive and insulting behavior and violence at a guard station.
The court heard the taxi driver called at Rathmines Garda station at 12:20 am on June 4 this year. He said that a passenger, the accused, would not pay for a ticket and that GardaÃ proceeded to Rathgar Road, where they found Feeney in a very high level of intoxication.
They talked to him and he paid for the fare but when the cab driver left Feeney got abusive and said, âI don’t like black people, you are all pigs.
He ran over the cab’s hood and windshield, damaging it, and was arrested.
He continued to be violent at the guardhouse and physically resisted the officers.
Feeney apologized for what was an isolated and one-time incident, his lawyer said.
He had been “locked” in his house due to the pandemic after returning from London, where he worked at a top barber shop and was “exceptional in his field”.
“If he could, he wished he could take it all back,” she said.
“He promises he’ll never get into trouble again.”