10 Aug 2022

Drunken disturbance during Mass

intoxicated label here

Drunken disturbance during Mass

A Mountrath man who caused a drunken disturbance in a local Catholic church during Mass has been told by the district court judge to seek help for his drink problem.

William Phelan (54), Paddock, Mountrath, was charged with being intoxicated, and using threatening or abusive behaviour, at Castletown, on September 22.

When the case first came before the court last November, Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that Mass was going on in Castletown when the accused entered in an intoxicated state, shouting obscenities. He was restrained by members of the public.

The accused had one previous conviction.

Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said that the accused had extreme difficulties with alcohol and was in fact intoxicated in court.

He said the accused, a single man who was a farmer, needed to take matters in hand.

“The demon alcohol has had a massive negative effect on his life,” said Mr Fitzgerald.

The matter was adjourned for a restorative justice report.

When the case returned to court last week, Judge Staines said the accused had not engaged at all with the restorative justice programme.

Mr Fitzgerald replied that the accused had a chronic alcohol problem and was not the most organised man in the world.

Judge Staines retorted that this was why the matter had been put back and the accused should have been engaging as directed.

Mr Fitzgerald said his client was on his knees before the court. He needed to deal with his alcohol addiction, said defence.

“The public can’t put up with this kind of behaviour,” Judge Staines warned the accused.

Telling the accused to talk to his GP as he very obviously needed some help, Judge Staines adjourned the case to May 7 next.

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