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20 Jan 2022

Man found with knife in Laois town said he was ‘trying to be a hard lad'

Man found with knife in Laois town said he was ‘trying to be a hard lad'

A man found with a knife on a street in Portarlington appeared before Portlaoise District Court last Thursday. 

Ryan O’Toole, 19, of 72 Corrig Glen, Station Road, Portarlington was charged with possession of a knife at Main Street, Portarlington on September 18 this year. 

Sgt JJ Kirby told the court that at 11.40pm at Main Street, Portarlington there were a number of youths. Mr O’Toole was found with a knife on him. He conceded he was paranoid and afraid and he was ‘trying to be a hard lad.” 

He had no previous convictions. 

Appearing for Mr O’Toole, solicitor Philip Meagher said he was a single man, living with his parents. 

On the night in question he was out with a number of friends. Initially a friend had the small knife but Mr O’Toole took it off him. When the gardaí approached him he discarded the knife under a car. He was intoxicated that night, and did not mean what he said. 

He had had a full discussion with his mother about knives. He made a foolish decision that night. 

Judge Catherine Staines pointed to two things. 

She pointed out to Mr O’Toole that he was intoxicated on the night. “You could make decisions you would not normally make,” she told him. 

“Secondly, you said it was for your protection which implies you might use it.”

The Judge sought a Restorative Justice report for Mr O’Toole to reflect on his behaviour. She noted he had no previous convictions. 

The report was sought for February 24.

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