Jovial encounter after Longford man pleads guilty to public order charge

Judge: 'We could be a great double act'

Longford Leader

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Judge Seamus Hughes

Judge Seamus Hughes.

Judge Seamus Hughes became involved in a light hearted exchange with a man accused of being found drunk in public last week, saying the pair could be a “great double act” on stage.

Anthony McCrann (47), 41 St Michael’s Road, Longford appeared at last week’s district court sitting charged with being intoxicated in a public place at St Michael’s Road, Longford on July 8 2018.

Sergeant Paddy McGirl, prosecuting, said gardaí were notified of an incident which was unfolding on St Michael’s Road at around 10:25pm.

He said when gardaí arrived at the scene, they found Mr McCrann in the middle of the road with a drink in his hand shouting abuse to passers-by.

Following his arrest, Mr McCrann, who has over 25 previous convictions including 17 for public order, was charged with Section 4 and 6 Public Order breaches.

Mr McCrann, who was represented by local solicitor John Quinn, revealed he had just completed a stint of community service which involved cleaning up stretches of a canal.

When asked by the Judge whether he enjoyed doing community service, Mr McCrann replied: “ I did”.

“I might just send you out again in the winter especially when you have plenty of fuel in your bloodstream,” quipped Judge Hughes in response.

That somewhat cheerful tone soon took a turn towards a more serious manner when Judge Hughes asked: “When are you going to grow up?”

Mr McCrann said the main source behind his transgression on the last occasion was due to the passing of his mother on December 18 last.

Judge Hughes disputed this explanation however, accusing Mr McCrann of being an alcoholic for years.

“I wouldn’t class myself as an alcoholic,” he replied.

“I suffer from disability.”

At that point in proceedings Mr McCrann told of how he would often do odd jobs for the elderly by cleaning carpets and mats for them.

Judge Hughes inquired as to whether Mr McCrann possessed the requisite tools to carry out such duties.

“Sure, there would be no point in doing it if I hadn’t got the equipment,” he shouted up to the bench.

His solicitor intimated Mr McCrann was willing to undertake further community service if deemed suitable, an admission which prompted Judge Hughes to comment, “Great.”

In doing so, the Judge noted how upon his arrival into court that morning he had observed a large quantity of broken glass close to the courthouse’s entrance.

“Well I didn’t break it,” said a defiant Mr McCrann, to much amusement in the public gallery.

“We could be a great double act,” responded Judge Hughes, something Mr McCrann said he “wouldn’t mind” pursuing.

Judge Hughes, as a consequence, ordered Mr McCrann to complete 150 hours community service after the Longford man pleaded guilty to the Section 6 Public Order charge.