A Portlaoise man arrested twice on the same morning for being drunk and abusive has been given community service in lieu of prison.
George Buggy (31), 5 Lakeglen, Portlaoise, was charged with two public order incidents.
Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that a mobile garda patrol on the Mountmellick Road in Portlaoise at 9.50am on November 23 last observed the accused stumble off the path into the road.
Buggy was aggressive and abusive toward the gardaí, and continued to be abusive after arrest.
He was placed in a custody room in the garda station, where he spat blood from a lip injury. The blood had to be cleaned, with €306 damage caused.
Buggy was then released from custody, but a short time later, at 11.45am, he was again detected by gardaí on Main Street Portlaoise, clearly intoxicated.
He was verbally abusive to the gardaí and was again arrested.
The accused had over 42 previous convictions, including public order offences.
Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said her client accepted he had been unsteady on his feet on the morning, having drunk vodka the night before.
She said he was coming in to collect his dole on the day from the post office and took umbrage to being arrested.
In relation to the injury to his lip, Ms Fitzpatrick said he banged his lip getting into the patrol car. She said Buggy had €100 compensation to offer for the damage to the custody cell.
Ms Fitzpatrick went on to say that Buggy was released while still intoxicated, and when the gardaí came upon him he again took umbrage to being arrested.
Defence said that Buggy had come to no garda attention since, and he is on 80ml of methadone a day.
After hearing the evidence, Judge Catherine Staines said that the accused probably shouldn’t have been released from the garda station while still intoxicated, and she struck out the charges relating to the second incident.
She noted that the accused had got his heroin problem under control and had come to no garda attention since.
Ordering the accused to hand over the €100 compensation, Judge Staines imposed 100 hours’ community service in lieu of six months in prison.
The matter was adjourned for a probation and community service report.