18 Aug 2022

Drunk Laois woman wished death on garda's family at Christmas


Drunk Laois woman wished death on garda's family at Christmas

A Portlaoise woman who drunkenly abused the gardaí, telling one garda she hoped someone close to them died at Christmas, has been given the benefit of the probation act.

Susan Byrne (54), 10 Jessop Street, Portlaoise, was charged with being intoxicated in a public place, and threatening or abusive behaviour, at Main Street, Portlaoise, on December 22 last year.

Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that at 10.50pm on that date, the accused was intoxicated outside a licensed premises on Main Street. She had thrown a glass at a staff member, but fortunately didn’t make contact, and the gardaí were called.

When the gardaí arrived the accused called them “f*cking assholes” and called a female garda “a f*cking b*tch”. She also told the female garda she hoped someone close to her died at Christmas.

Sgt Kirby said that after the accused sobered up, she did improve in her behaviour.

The accused had no previous convictions but does have other matters to come before the court. Sgt Kirby said she had previously received a fixed penalty notice for a similar matter.

Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said the accused was a widow and the death of her husband had had a debilitating effect on her, leading her to isolate herself and turn to alcohol. He said she had been lonely at that time of year and was drinking at home, before she foolishly made the decision to go to the bar where she was refused service and reacted poorly.

Mr Fitzgerald said the accused had attended with her GP for mental health issues and was also attending AA. Defence handed in two letters to the court from the accused, including a letter of apology to the garda she abused.

Defence concluded by saying that the accused needed assistance and accepted her behaviour was appalling.

Judge Catherine Staines agreed that it had been appalling behaviour on the night, but she accepted that the letter the accused had written seemed genuine and the accused was now taking on board her problems.

Saying she would give the accused an opportunity, Judge Staines applied the probation act, section 1.1.

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