Abusive in Portlaoise Top Square

Abusive in Portlaoise Top Square

A man who refused to leave the scene after acting in an abusive manner outside a local fast food outlet has been given the probation act after making a donation to the Portlaoise branch of St Vincent de Paul.

Paul Drew (33), Whitebrook Park, Springfield, Tallaght, Co. Dublin, was last week charged with failure to comply with the directions of the gardaí, and threatening or abusive behaviour.

Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on January 27 this year, at 1.50am, the accused was observed in an altercation outside a fast food outlet in the Top Square, Portlaoise.

He was acting in a threatening or abusive manner towards members of the public and was asked to leave by gardaí, but paid no attention to them.

He was again directed to leave and refused, failing to comply with the gardaí, and had to be arrested.

The accused had a number of previous convictions, including public order matters.

Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said his client’s last public order conviction was 11 years ago and since then he had served a prison sentence on more serious matters.

Sgt Kirby confirmed that the accused had served a sentence for handling stolen property.

Mr Fitzgerald continued that his client, who works as a fulltime plumber, had a chequered history and his time in prison had served him well.

At the time of the offence, the accused was doing a course in Portlaoise and staying in the Maldron Hotel. He hadn’t been drinking much since his release from jail and reacted to the alcohol when he went drinking, becoming abusive to members of the public and the gardaí.

Defence said the accused had written a letter of apology.

In ruling, Judge Catherine Staines said: “The people of Portlaoise shouldn’t have to put up with this type of behaviour.”

Judge Staines said the offence seemed to be a one off and the accused seemed to be genuinely remorseful.

The judge directed the accused to contribute €200 to the Portlaoise branch of the St Vincent de Paul and applied the probation act.