A man who appeared at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court charged under the Public Order Act had his case adjourned for 12 months so the court can monitor his behaviour in the meantime.
Brendan Kelleher (29), 19 French Hall, Prospect Woods, Longford appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with failure to comply with the orders of An Garda Síochána at Prospect Woods, Longford on August 21, 2017.
He was also further charged with being intoxicated in a public place and engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting words or behaviour on the same date.
Outlining the evidence to the court, Inspector Blaithín Moran said that on the date in question at approximately 7:20pm gardaí were called to the Prospect Woods area of Longford town after a disturbance broke out.
“Mr Kelleher was there and he abused the Gardaí when they arrived,” she continued.
“At one point he was asked to leave the area and refused to do so.
“He then became more abusive and was arrested under the Public Order Act.”
Meanwhile, the defendant’s solicitor Trish Cronin said her client had struggled with alcohol addiction in the past.
She said he had made efforts to deal with his difficulties, but it was proving hard for him.
“He has done a residential stay in Cuan Mhuire and hasn’t taken a drink in four weeks,” she added.
“He is currently attending counselling services; he is somebody who is trying to deal with matters and is prepared to undertake both counselling and treatment.”
The defendant then addressed Judge Hughes directly.
He said he was attending the Local Community Alcohol and Drugs Service (CADS) in Longford town.
“I was also working,” he added, “then I went back on the drink and I’m not working now.”
Mr Kelleher went on to say that he seemed to stay off alcohol for certain periods of time, but then found himself drinking again.
“I’ve been off it for nine, 10 and 12 months even, but then I go back on it,” he continued.
“I drink spirits - Vodka mostly - and I could drink a bottle a day.”
The court was also told that the defendant had Type 1 diabetes.
During his deliberations on the matter, Judge Hughes said the defendant was taking up his valuable time in the courtroom.
“You have taken up a certain amount of my time over the years in this courtroom and it is all because of drink,” he said to Mr Kelleher.
“I’m tired of it now; but I’m tired of it because I am actually worried about your health.
“And I don’t like the fact that you are intoxicated at 7:30 in the evening either.”
The Judge said he would send the defendant to prison if he did not behave himself.
He added, “I’ll send you on a short visit to prison if you are not careful”.
The Judge subsequently adjourned proceedings until September 4, 2018 but not before issuing the defendant with a warning.
“You will go to prison if you come to the attention of the Gardaí in the next 12 months,” concluded Judge Hughes.