Farmer fined after verbal row

A YOUNG farmer who got involved in a verbal row in a Portlaoise nightclub has been fined €200 for threatening, abusive behaviour.

A YOUNG farmer who got involved in a verbal row in a Portlaoise nightclub has been fined €200 for threatening, abusive behaviour.

James Keegan (28) of Ballyroan, Portlaoise was at Coppers late bar on July 4 this year when a man he had previously had a dispute with approached the bar.

Keegan began to threaten and verbally abuse the man, causing him to become distressed, Inspector Martin Harrington explained, adding that there had been some history between the pair.

He has two previous convictions, one for common assault and one for assault causing harm for which he received a suspended prison sentence.

Solicitor Philip Meagher said his client apologised unreservedly for his behaviour.

A single man who farms a suckler herd with his father, Keegan had not sought out the other man on the night, but admits he should have distanced himself and not used inappropriate language.

Mr Meagher said it was relatively late in the night and drink had been consumed by all sides, when unfortunately one word led to another.

Keegan has had no contact with the other man since and intends to walk away if he should come across himself again, Mr Meagher said, pointing out that Keegan acknowledges he has difficulty with his temper and has a short fuse when he has taken alcohol.

Judge William Early warned Keegan that if he comes before the court again, he will have to consider more serious penalties.