Man who ran amok in Portlaoise returned to hospital after nearly a week sleeping rough

Gardaí step in for a second time due to ongoing public concerns

Portlaoise incident

At least four windows and a door were smashed at the council block of flats on Well Road Portlaoise.

Gardaí in Portlaoise have returned a man to the town's hospital more than a week following his discharge after he went on a rampage in the town centre.

Just after 7pm this evening, (Wednesday, April 12) up to five Gardaí stepped and peacefully escorted the man into a garda van before transferring him to the Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise.

The man did not appear to resist the Gardaí during the operation. The police were assisted by three of members of the public who appeared to be known to the man.

The operation was carried out close to where the man went on a violent rampage last week at the junction of the Well Road and James Fintan Lalor Avenue. He had homeless since smashing several windows in his upstairs flat nearby.

Gardaí arrested the man, who is of African origin, on Monday, April 3 after he was witnessed smashing the windows and doors to his own flat and a neighbour's accommodation.

Several on and off duty gardaí were called to the incident during which members of the public were also threatened. After he smashed windows he was witnessed waving a large iron bar in the middle of the street.

Batons were drawn and pepper spray deployed during the incident which occurred in broad daylight. He was taken to Portlaoise Garda Station but because of concerns about his health was transferred to Portlaiose hospital for psychiatric assessment.

It is not know if he was formally admitted to the hospital, but neighbours were shocked when they saw him trying to break down the boarded up windows of his flat the following morning. Gardaí again arrived at the scene and confiscated more implements. However, they did not have the jurisdiction to detain him for a second time.

Since the the man, who is known to the gardaí in relation to other matters, has been sleeping homeless in various locations but mainly on a green space next to his flat. 

The HSE has declined to comment.

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