A Portlaoise man has been given a suspended jail sentence for stealing roof tiles off the derelict St Paul’s NS.
Martin Keogh (29), St Brigid’s Place, Portlaoise, was charged with trespass, and damaging property.
When the case first came before the court in April last, Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on March 30 this year, at St Paul’s National School on the Borris Road in Portlaoise, a derelict building, the accused was stripping roof tiles off the school.
The accused had 26 previous convictions.
Defence, Ms Louise Troy said her client had a long history of drug addiction. He is now back living with his parents in Portlaoise, following the lifting of a court order prohibiting him from entering Portlaoise.
Ms Troy said that the accused’s actions had been fueled by drugs, as he took heroin and tablets on the night. He has now taken steps to address his addiction and is seeing a counsellor.
Ms Troy asked the court to look at the offence as “a slip” on his part, and Judge Catherine Staines adjourned the case to July 12 for reports.
When the case returned to court last week for a probation report, Ms Troy said her client was waiting on a place at Coote Street for his drug addiction.
Judge Staines asked the accused what was he doing in the meantime to deal with his addiction, to which the accused gave no verbal answer.
Sgt Kirby told the court that the accused had come to no garda attention since.
He said it was hard to put an estimate on the damage caused as the scene of the offence was a derelict building.
Judge Staines imposed six months in prison, suspended for one year.