Relapsed on drink after being denied access


A Portlaoise man has been ordered to make a donation to the court poor box after being charged with an offence in which he was drunkenly abusive to the gardaí.

At last week's sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Scott O’Brien, 26, with an address at 15 Lawlor Way, Fairgreen, Portlaoise, was charged with being intoxicated in public, and using threatening or abusive behaviour.

Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on January 13 this year, at the Mountmellick Road, Portlaoise, the accused was found lying on the footpath in an intoxicated state.

He became highly abusive when spoken to by the gardaí and remained in a violent state after being arrested and brought to the garda station.

The accused had 17 previous convictions, ten for public order offences.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said her client wished to apologise for his behaviour.

She said he had been drinking and reacted badly when the gardaí came along.

Ms Fitzpatrick said the accused had been doing well abstaining from alcohol, but he relapsed after being denied access to his child.

Ms Fitzpatrick said her client had €100 compensation and a letter of apology.

The offence represented a slip for the accused after a period of non offending, she said. Ms Fitzpatrick also said the accused was hoping to return to work the following week.

Judge Catherine Staines noted the accused’s previous convictions went back five years and this offence seemed to be an isolated event.

Telling the accused that if he had a problem accessing his child he could bring an application to court, Judge Staines directed him to donate €100 to the court poor box and she applied the probation act, section 1.2.