Last chance for Portlaoise man

A PORTLAOISE man who failed to keep his appointments with the probation service and turned up late for last week’s court was given one last chance by Judge Catherine Staines, with the judge warning him to keep all future appointments and to attend court on time.

A PORTLAOISE man who failed to keep his appointments with the probation service and turned up late for last week’s court was given one last chance by Judge Catherine Staines, with the judge warning him to keep all future appointments and to attend court on time.

John O’Shea, with addresses listed at 4 Bramley Court, Mountmellick Road, Portlaoise, and 20 O’Moore Place, Portlaoise, was previously remanded for a probation report, following drugs and public order charges, and a charge of failing to appear in court.

When he appeared late at last week’s court, Judge Staines noted that he hadn’t kept any of his appointments with the probation service.

Defence for O’Shea, Mr Philip Meagher admitted that his client’s probation report did not read well at all.

“He hasn’t engaged with the service,” Mr Meagher conceded. “He hasn’t taken the opportunity given him.”

Mr Meagher went on to say that O’Shea had attended a few of his appointments and he was willing to undergo treatment at Coote Street in Portlaoise for drug addiction. Mr Meagher said O’Shea was currently using methadone to try to wean himself off heroin.

Judge Staines remarked that O’Shea had only attended two out of nine appointments and she said that the probation service had given him every opportunity.

Mr Meagher replied that O’Shea’s mother had indicated there was some difficulty with notes from the probation service not arriving at the family home. In relation to the notes, O’Shea told Judge Staines directly that he cannot read or write.

The judge informed Mr Meagher that the court had previously directed that all letters should go to Mr Meagher’s office.

“We didn’t receive any appointment notices to our office,” said Mr Meagher.

“I don’t accept what was said here today,” declared Judge Staines. Mr Meagher replied he hoped the judge was not referring to anything he had said.

“I would take great umbrage at any suggestion that I would not pass on notices,” Mr Meagher said.

Judge Staines put the matter back for one week, telling O’Shea: “This is your last chance, if you don’t keep this appointment that’s it. You have to be here on May 17 at 10.30 and don’t wander in and out of court.”