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06 Jul 2022

'Who do you think you are," Judge asks man in breach of Covid-19 regulations

'Who do you think you are," Judge asks man in breach of Covid-19 regulations

A man facing three charges under the failure to minimise the spread of Covid-19 and failure to comply with a Garda direction appeared at Portlaoise district court on Thursday.

The court heard that on May 2 2020 Sean Foley (21) of Borris Little, Portlaoise was stopped at O’Moore Street Mountmelllick in a car with two other people.

He was 11 kilometres from his home.

The other two people left, but Mr Foley declined to leave and used abusive language to the gardai.

He had apologised and had not been back to Mountmellick since, defence solicitor Josephine Fitzpatrick told the court. 

Judge Catherine Staines said it was “shocking behaviour.”

“We are in a pandemic. You refused to leave and used bad language to the Gardaí. Who do you think you are?,” she admonished Mr Foley.

Josephine Fitzpatrick said that Mr Foley had apologised. He no longer frequents the area. He had two friends in Mountmellick, who he was giving lifts to. He needed to learn better public behaviour, she said. 

He had pleaded guilty early, and had stopped coming to Mountmellick

Judge Staines reiterated that it was extremely serious. She said she had one month’s prison sentence in mind, but she noted that he had no previous convictions.
She ordered a Restorative Justice report so that he could "reflect on that."

She also mooted community work because he was putting the community at risk.

She adjourned the matter to July 1 for the report.

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