The behaviour of a Portlaoise man with 65 previous criminal convictions has gone too far, according to Judge Catherine Staines, who last week imposed a three-month prison sentence on the 34-year-old for drunkenly abusing the gardaí.
Patrick McInerney (34), 71 Cosby Avenue, Fairgreen, Portlaoise, faced two public order charges at last week’s sitting of the district court.
Inspector Jer Glavin gave evidence that on January 14 this year, at Cosby Avenue, the accused was falling in the street in a highly intoxicated state.
He was shouting abuse at the gardaí and when he was told to desist, he became even more abusive and had to be arrested.
He had 65 previous convictions, 14 for public order.
Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick admitted her client had a history of public order offending.
She said that there had been a family anniversary the day before the offence, and then the following day members of the family had met up.
“Unfortunately, drink does not suit him,” said Ms Fitzpatrick, adding that the accused had consumed pints, then shorts, then got a taxi home.
It was after arriving in his home estate that the gardaí attended the scene.
“He has a drink issue,” said defence.
Ms Fitzpatrick said that the accused’s mother, aged 77, was quite ill, and the accused stayed with her at weekends to keep away from alcohol.
Defence handed in a letter of apology and concluded by saying the accused would be prepared to attend the Athy Alternative Project for his drinking.
Noting that the accused had four children, Judge Catherine Staines asked: “Why is he out drinking and causing huge difficulties to the residents and the gardaí? He has 14 previous convictions for public order, I try to give everyone an opportunity, but this has gone too far.
“It’s not fair on the people of Portlaoise and it’s not fair on the gardaí.”
The judge imposed three months in prison, with recognisance fixed in the event of an appeal.
The accused is due back before the court this Thursday on separate matters.