25 May 2022

Gardaí found Longford man lying on ground 'barking like a dog', court is told

Longford Courthouse.

A probation report has been ordered in the case of a man who appeared charged with a number of public order offences at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court.

A probation report has been ordered in the case of a man who appeared charged with a number of public order offences at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court.

Stephen Murtagh, 35 Silver Birches, Stonepark, Longford, appeared before Judge Bernadette Owens last Tuesday afternoon charged with section 4 public order, possession of drugs, possession of knives and failure to appear.

Sgt Enda Daly, for the state, explained that Gardaí received reports at 10.10am on June 27, 2020, that a male was causing a disturbance at Longford Train Station.

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Upon arriving at the station, Gardaí encountered Mr Murtagh who was unable to stand and whose speech was slurred and he tried to conceal a bag of cocaine to the value of €100.

Mr Murtagh, who has 13 previous convictions, received a fixed charge penalty notice for intoxication, which he did not pay, the court heard.

On April 4, 2021, at 1.50am, Gardaí received reports from Annaly Park of a male lying on the ground “making strange noises”.

“Gardaí arrived and Mr Murtagh was lying on the ground, barking like a dog,” said Sgt Daly.

Again, a fixed charge penalty notice was issued and this was not paid, he added.

On April 19, 2021, Gardaí responded to reports of a disturbance at Slí na Mona estate in Ballymahon, where they found Mr Murtagh to be in possession of a knife and a rake. He was arrested and conveyed to Longford Garda Station.

Solicitor for the defence, John Quinn, noted that the “more serious matters” were the latter charges and “that was more a domestic issue in that a brother of his was acting up and he tried to disarm the brother”.

“Regarding the other matters, he has addiction difficulties and has calmed down a good bit since these came before the court,” said Mr Quinn.

“He has been behaving for the last 12 or 18 months. He lives in the Simon Community Shelter and is trying to deal with his addiction. He helps out in the shelter and gets his keep at a reduced rate.”

Judge Owens noted that Mr Murtagh “might benefit from a probation report in light of the issue that he has a suspended sentence”.

The case is due to reappear at Longford District Court on May 3, 2022.

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