‘You have one for every day of year’ Longford judge tells man with 365 prior convictions

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Man with 365 prior convictions: ‘You have one for every day of year’

A judge has spoken of his disbelief at how a man ejected from a train in Longford and found stumbling along a footpath in the county town earlier this month could have 365 previous convictions to his name, telling him: “You're not serious? You’ve one for every day of the year.”

Gary Byrne, of no fixed abode, Coolock, Dublin, pleaded guilty to being found drunk in public at 9am in the morning on July 6, 2020 and of refusing to give his name and address.

Sgt Paddy McGirl said gardaí came across the accused in an “extremely intoxicated” state and was consequently arrested for his own safety.

Wearing beige jeans and a blue shirt, Mr Byrne was visibly shaking inside court as he stood beside his solicitor Frank Gearty.

Under questioning from the judge as to his well being, the 53-year-old said he was not in a position to eat breakfast prior to court, explaining his physical demeanour was due to him suffering withdrawal symptoms from alcohol.

“How much would you drink in a day?” Judge Hughes asked.

“Anything I could get my hands on,” came the reply from the Dubliner, adding he would comfortably consume a litre bottle of whiskey inside an hour if given the opportunity.

“You must have the constitution of a horse,” interjected Judge Hughes for a second time.

Mr Gearty, meanwhile, said his client was a father of one who had fallen on hard times.

“He was on his way to Sligo to see his brother who is a counsellor and was intoxicated,” said Mr Gearty.

“And the staff quite rightly put him off the train.”

Mr Byrne, himself, said he was trying his best to arrest his addiction problem and was presently studying.

Judge Hughes ultimately fined Mr Bryne €150 for declining to offer his name and address, giving him three months to pay.

The accompanying charge of being found drunk in public was struck out.