Rosenallis man not in court due to 'agoraphobia'

crowd management

Rosenallis man not in court due to 'agoraphobia'

A Rosenallis man charged with a public order offence in a Portlaoise hotel failed to turn up in court last week, as it was claimed he was suffering with agoraphobia and did not feel safe in public spaces.

Colm Walsh (33), Derrylamogue, Rosenallis, was charged with being intoxicated, and using threatening or abusive behaviour, at the Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise, on December 29 last.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said her client was not present in court as he suffers with agoraphobia, which leaves him not feeling safe in public spaces.

However, Judge Catherine Staines said the charges related to public order matters at the Midlands Park Hotel, which is a very public place. She said the accused had to be in court.

Sgt JJ Kirby outlined the facts, that on December 29 last, at 11.30pm, the accused was drunk in the hotel lobby and when the gardaí arrived he told them to f**k off.

The accused was arrested and brought to the garda station, and Sgt Kirby said he was very apologetic when he sobered up.

Ms Fitzpatrick said her client was entering a guilty plea and had no previous convictions. She also handed in a letter of apology to the court.

After reading the letter, Judge Staines said she did not accept what the accused was saying.

“He was in a very busy hotel and was able to manage the crowds, he has to be here in court,” said Judge Staines.

The matter was adjourned to January 17 next.