A PORTLAOISE man had to be pepper-sprayed after attempting to headbutt a garda, following a family disturbance in which the HSE were endeavouring to remove his infant grandson.
William Delaney, 24 Abbey Court, Abbeyleix Road, Portlaoise, was charged with using threatening behaviour, failure to comply and obstructing the gardaí, at his home on July 23.
Inspector Martin Harrington gave evidence that gardaí were called to the scene of a family disturbance at 5.30pm and during the incident Delaney attempted to headbutt an officer, forcing the gardaí to use pepper-spray to restrain him. The court heard that Delaney has four previous convictions.
Defence, Mr Declan Breen explained that Delaney’s son had arrived at the house the previous evening with his partner and three-month-old son and requested to stay. The family began drinking the next day and during the course of the afternoon Delaney learnt that his son was having difficulties with the HSE. Two social workers and a garda later arrived at Delaney’s house requesting that the child be taken by the HSE on a voluntary basis and his son became aggrieved, to which Delaney intervened in an effort to “smooth the transition of the baby being taken”. Mr Breen said that words were exchanged between Delaney and his son, which led to “strong words on the street”. Delaney became incensed as he was very drunk and the incident occurred. Mr Breen concluded by saying that his client knew the gardaí well and he apologised for his behaviour.
Judge Catherine Staines convicted and fined Delaney €300, telling him: “Your son would be better served if you didn’t bring him drinking.”