“Not one drop of drink is to go past your lips,” said Judge Catherine Staines, to a Portlaoise man who has been directed to complete an alcohol awareness course after causing a drunken disturbance in the street.
At last week's sitting of Portlaoise District Court, James Donoghue (34), 7 Buttercup Avenue, Esker Hills, Portlaoise, was charged with being intoxicated in a public place, and threatening or abusive behaviour.
Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on August 29, 2019, at 4.30am at Buttercup Avenue, Portlaoise, this accused was highly intoxicated and causing a disturbance.
He became aggressive and abusive to gardaí, shouting and roaring, and had to be arrested.
The accused had eight previous convictions, including five for public order offences and one for violent disorder.
Defence, Mr Philip Meagher said his client wished to apologise for his actions.
He said the accused had a lot of psychiatric difficulties since he was 15 and is under the care of his GP.
On the night in question, he was outside his own house. His wife and children were away so he was alone in the house and in a depressed state he started drinking, having recently changed the medication he was taking.
Defence said the accused was very ashamed of his actions and had very little explanation as to what brought him out on the road in a very agitated state.
Mr Meagher went on to say the accused is a member of the local Traveller Men’s Shed project and was helping to build a shrine for the local church.
He has not come to adverse garda attention since, said defence, adding that the accused is no longer drinking.
Judge Catherine Staines said the accused had an appalling record and suffers with schizophrenia and personality disorder, meaning he just can’t drink alcohol.
“Drink is the last thing you should be taking, it will cause anxiety,” said Judge Staines, adding that she was worried about his children.
The accused was directed to complete the Athy Alternative Project, to educate him on the dangers of alcohol.
If completed, the judge said she would impose a suspended sentence.
“If you come before me on any charge for drinking you’re going to prison for six months. Not one drop of drink is to go past your lips,” Judge Staines warned him.
The matter was put back to February 6, 2020.
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