Abbeyleix man drinking and smoking in court and was abusive to gardaí

Abbeyleix man drinking and smoking in court and was abusive to gardaí

An Abbeyleix man who abused a garda on the steps of the courthouse after being moved on for drinking and smoking in the court building has been told to pay compensation.

Before last week’s Portlaoise District Court was Michael Flynn (54), 1 Saint Francis House, Gort na nÓir, Abbeyleix.

Sgt Doyle gave evidence that on October 25 this year, the accused was in the lobby of the court building smoking and drinking.

He was directed to leave the scene and did so, but a short time later he returned to the steps of the building and shouted obscenities at the gardaí.

“F**k ye, I'm drinking me can,” the accused said.

The accused had 41 previous convictions, 18 for public order offences.

Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said that on that same day, the accused had “passed certain comments to the court” when he came before Judge Catherine Staines.

This was in relation to the accused’s last appearance before the court, when he said to Judge Staines: “You’re looking very well.”

Mr Fitzgerald said the accused had been completely intoxicated on the day. He was admitted to a psychiatric ward a couple of days after this incident and spent time there, said defence, and he is now on strong medication.

Mr Fitzgerald said the accused was due back before the court in a couple of weeks on an assault charge.

Defence said that the accused, a separated man with six children, had struggled with an alcohol addiction all his life, but in the last week had taken the first tentative steps towards recovery.

The accused himself apologised to Judge Staines for his actions on the last court date.

Judge staines put the matter back to December 8 for a doctor's report on the accused, before dealing with sentencing.

She also told the accused to write a full letter of apology to the garda he insulted, and asked did he have any money for compensation. Mr Fitzgerald said the accused is on social welfare, but Judge Staines remarked: “He had money for drink and he's not drinking now.”

She directed the accused to have €50 compensation on the next court date.