18-yr-old avoids detention for litany of drink offences

An 18-year-old Laois man facing a litany of public order and theft offences has been warned to abstain from alcohol until his next court date.

Judge Catherine Staines said she considered imposing a detention order on Edward O’Donovan, with a previous address at Balladine Heights, Abbeyleix, but now living in Westmeath, for the huge number of charge sheets against him at last week’s court.

The court heard that O’Donovan had recently turned 18 and left his foster parents’ house, rendering him homeless.

Inspector Aidan Farrelly outlined the facts:

On February 18 O’Donovan stole items worth €80 from Elverys, Portlaoise, and three t-shirts from Jack and Jones, Portlaoise.

On February 19, he was in “an elevated state of intoxication” at SS Peter and Paul’s Church, becoming aggressive and striking a garda on the arm.

On February 20, he passed out from too much alcohol and was aggressive to ambulance staff who tried to assist him at the Midlands Regional Hospital.

On March 2, he was intoxicated at Rossvale, Mountmellick Road, Portlaoise.

On March 17, he stole a bottle of whiskey from Tesco, Portlaoise. He also stole three bottles of wine from Shoprite, Borris Road, Portlaoise.

On April 18, he stole goods worth €16 from Dunnes Stores.

On April 20, O’Donovan stole six bottles of wine from O’Gorman’s Off-License, Kilminchy.

On April 22, O’Donovan was found in an intoxicated and aggressive state in the grounds of St Fintan’s Hospital. He had caused €300 of damage by throwing a block through the window on the front door of the building.

On April 30, he was part of a group of youths drinking at Bridal Walk, Kilminchy, and refused to move on when directed by gardaí, becoming abusive.

On May 22, he stole alcohol worth €25 from Supervalu, Abbeyleix, and was abusive to gardaí.

And on June 8, he was seen staggering and shouting on the green outside houses at St Brigid’s Place, Portlaoise.

There were also new charges against O’Donovan at last Thursday’s court, relating to the theft of cans of beer, chocolate and a bottle of Captain Morgan’s, from an off-licence in January of this year.

Defence, Mr Declan Breen said O’Donovan had been in care since he was one, and had been homeless since leaving his foster parents.

A key worker with Empowerment Plus took the witness box, to tell the court that O’Donovan is now “trying to change his habits”, and hopefully he won’t offend again.

The matter was put back to July 24 for a probation report, with Judge Staines warning O’Donovan to abstain from alcohol.


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