A man charged with unlawful collection was given the benefit of the Probation Act at Portlaoise District Court recently. Thomas McDonagh of 26 Presentation Place, Birr, County Offaly was charged under Section 3 of the Street and House to House Collections Act 1962 of collecting without a permit.
Sgt JJ Kirby told the court Mr McDonagh was allegedly collecting for the Big Issue. He had collected €29.18.
Defence Solicitor, Barry Fitzgerald said that Mr McDonagh was a 34-year old man who was serving a sentence. He was an alcohol and drug addict and had been homeless. He was desperate and wanted to get food and shelter. He is now clean and sober and is going back to his parents upon his release.
Judge Staines applied the Probation Act and directed that the cash Mr McDonagh collected be given to the Midlands Simon Community.