A 21-year-old man has been jailed for 28 days for coughing in the face of a garda and claiming he had coronavirus.

Craig Donegan, with an address at Seangharri, Ballinagh, appeared before Cavan District Court today.

He was arrested following a public order incident in Ballinagh in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Donegan pleaded guilty to a series of public order offences, threatening or abusive behaviour at Cortruce, Ballinagh, and assaulting a peace officer at Cavan Garda Station by coughing at them through the cell door.

Prosecuting Garda Sergeant Damien Martin told the court the garda in question was left in a state of distress following the incident.

Donegan addressed the court to apologise for his actions.

Considering sentencing, Judge Denis McLoughlin told the court that he considered the offence particularly serious given the current circumstances.

He said he considered the act of coughing a "threat" and sentenced Donegan to 28 days in prison, backdated for time already served.

He is the second person to go to prison for such an offence during the Covid-19 outbreak.