Judge jails Athlone man over Longford hostel row

A man who became embroiled in a row at a local hostel was sentenced to four weeks in prison following a hearing into the matter at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court.

Richard McCullough, Bogafin House, Dublin Road, Athlone, Co Westmeath appeared before Judge Fiona Lydon charged with threatening, abusive and insulting words or behaviour and failing to comply with the orders of An Garda Síochana at St Martha's Hostel, Longford last year.

Outlining the evidence to the court, Inspector Bláthín Moran said that on the date in question gardaí were called to the hostel on the outskirts of Longford town at approximately 10:45pm after an incident there had been reported.

“When gardaí arrived at the hostel they spoke to the manager who explained that a row had broken out and the defendant had been involved.

“Gardaí spoke to Mr McCullough and it was clear that he was intoxicated,” the Inspector added.

“He was unsteady on his feet and was shouting abuse at the staff of the hostel.

“He also began lashing out at the Gardaí and was verbally abusive to them.”

The court was also told that the defendant had 87 previous convictions.

In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor Aine Gordon said that her client’s record spoke for itself.

“He has been in trouble since he was 15-years-old,” she continued, before pointing out that the defendant came from a good family but fell foul of alcohol and drugs at a young age.

“He is currently on a methadone programme and has been engaged in that for the last six months.”

The court also heard that the defendant was aware of his addiction problems and was genuinely endeavouring to sort his life out.

“Mr McCullough knows that he has serious addiction issues and he really is trying to sort out his problems,” added Ms Gordon.

“He wants to apologise to the Gardaí and to the people who were in the hostel that night.

“He also apologises for the damage he caused.

“He is 28-years-old and left school after his Junior Cert.”

Following her deliberations on the matter, Judge Lydon sentenced the defendant to four weeks in prison which he will serve alongside a current sentence imposed in respect of a separate matter a number of weeks ago.

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