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02 Dec 2021

Judge tells Longford man he's a 'lucky boy' to avoid jail

Tipperary District Court

A man who tried to push a garda after he told him to leave the vicinity of a licenced premises in Longford town has been told he’s a “lucky boy” to not be behind bars.

Johnny Doyle (22) 5 Richmond Court, Longford was arrested and charged following two alleged breaches of public order at the Longford Arms Hotel on July 19 2019.

Sgt Paddy McGirl outlined how gardaí had been alerted to reports of a male being aggressive towards bar staff and who was then asked but refused to leave the premises.

When gardaí arrived Mr Doyle continued in a hostile manner before turning his ire in the direction of officers, Sgt McGirl said.

“He was aggressive towards the garda who directed him to leave and he (Mr Doyle) attempted to push him after being directed to leave,” added the sergeant.

“There was no allegation or complaint of assault but he had to be physically restrained and handcuffed back to Longford Garda Station.”

The court was informed Mr Doyle had eight previous convictions to his name, all for public order with the most recent of those coming on June 21, 2019.

Judge Seamus Hughes said there was no denying the gravity of the incident, describing it as a “very serious matter”.

He also hinted at a possible custodial sentence, asking: “How many public order offences do you have to commit.”

In defence, solicitor Frank Geary said his client was holding his hands up over the incident and admitted Mr Doyle was battling a “serious issue with alcohol”.

Mr Doyle, when asked by Judge Hughes, said while he hadn’t worked since the age of 18, he was hopeful of securing employment in the construction sector via a friend who presently worked in the industry.

“Well, you are taking your time at it,” replied Judge Hughes, while describing My Doyle’s criminal past as being nothing short of “appalling”.

Judge Hughes initially sentenced Mr Doyle to 240 hours community service in lieu of ten weeks in prison.

However, it soon emerged Mr Doyle had been given a previous court order surrounding community service, but had failed to complete it.

“That’s because I thought I was done,” interjected Mr Doyle.

The case was adjourned to September 24 to ascertain the precise details surrounding Mr Doyle’s previous community service order, not before Jude Hughes gave the Longford man a stern warning.

“I have you sized up,” he told him, before addressing Mr Gearty.

“He had better play along and get on with it because he’s a lucky boy he’s not in jail today.”

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