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22 May 2022

Discussion about religion ‘got out of hand’, Longford court hears

Longford Courthouse.

Two men charged with public order after arguing about religion in the street have been afforded the opportunity to make a charitable donation in return for a strikeout.

Two men charged with public order after arguing about religion in the street have been afforded the opportunity to make a charitable donation in return for a strikeout.

Adrian Dolinski, 27 Cluain Ard, Ardnacassa, Longford, and Sylvester Parczewski, 4 River Court, Great Water Street, Longford, appeared before Judge Bernadette Owens at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court.

The court heard that, on March 12, 2022, on Great Water Street at 3.15am, Gardaí were called to a disruption at an apartment.

On arrival, Gardaí spoke to two males who were “highly intoxicated” and became threatening and abusive. Gardaí engaged with the two men who started to shout loudly.

When cautioned about their behaviour and asked by Gardaí to move on, the men failed to do so and were arrested and conveyed to Longford Garda Station where they were charged.

“They were released from custody when they sobered up. I don’t know how they were when they left custody but time has a sobering effect,” said court presenter, Sgt Mark Mahon.

Solicitor for the accused men, Mr Frank Gearty, admitted it was “a very serious matter that these two adults - family men - were aggressive on the street”.

“Politics and religion should never be discussed after consuming alcohol,” he said.“They are two brothers in law and unfortunately they started talking about God.

“They got into a noisy argument about a technical issue with regard to belief and, unfortunately, it ended up on the street. And now these men who have otherwise not come to Garda attention find themselves in court.

“By the time they got to the Garda Station, they realised where they were and they have avoided this type of situation since.

“They are extremely sorry to everyone concerned. It was reported by a neighbour but it is a family matter, which only goes to show the danger of talking about religion in an intoxicated situation.”

Judge Owens noted that both accused men came before the court with no relevant previous convictions.

“It seems the combination of alcohol and a discussion trying to delve into a matter pertaining to religion got out of hand,” she said.

“I’m giving them the opportunity to pay €150 to the local branch of St Vincent de Paul. If paid, I’ll strike out the charges. If not paid, they will be convicted and fined €150.”

The two men have six weeks to pay the charitable donation.

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